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Family Of Beloved Westfield Principal Suing Hospital Over His Death

Derrick Nelson
Derrick Nelson Photo Credit: Facebook

Family of the Westfield High School principal who died following an attempt to harvest his bone marrow for donation are suing Hackensack University Medical Center. 

Derrick Nelson, a 20-year veteran of the Army reserves,  was planning on making the donation to a French teenager. But the magnanimous gesture turned tragic when Nelson, 44, fell into a coma early this year. He died in April. 

His fiance is now suing HUMC and a physician, attorney David Mazie of Roseland said. She and Nelson also have a six-year-old daughter. 

"When they started the procedure and induced intitally the anesthesia, he was already down to 91 percent oxygen saturation, which is below normal. They should have stopped the procedure at that point, but they continued," Mazie said.

Nelson's death stunned Westfield, where he was a highly regarded educator. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered flags flown at half-staff in his memory. 

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