Nurse cut off dying man’s foot for taxidermy display

The hospice nurse claimed to have amputated the foot to make the patient more comfortable, although her coworkers testify otherwise.

 Medical Care” geriatric hospital  (photo credit: Nili Tzur)
Medical Care” geriatric hospital
(photo credit: Nili Tzur)

Mary K. Brown, 38, a hospice nurse from Wisconsin, is being charged with two felony counts for amputating her patient's foot without consent, according to local Wisconsin news station WQOW. 

Specifically, Brown is charged with physical abuse of an elder person - intentionally causing great bodily harm- and mayhem. 

“We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation into this matter. The person identified is not employed with our community.”

Administrator and CEO of Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care, Kevin Larson

Brown was assigned to the victim's care after he was admitted to the Spring Valley Health and Rehab Center, according to WQOW. The victim had severe frostbite on both of his feet when he came to the center in March 2022. 

Local news reported the testimony of several witnesses who told police that Brown cut off the victim's right foot-which was "necrotic and held on by some skin and a couple of tendons" on May 27, 2022. Brown herself admitted that she did not have a doctor's order or permission to perform the amputation. She also did not have the victim's permission. 

 ''Medical Care” geriatric hospital (credit: Nili Tzur) ''Medical Care” geriatric hospital (credit: Nili Tzur)

A criminal complaint against Brown was filed on November 3. 

Eyewitness accounts and expected sentencing 

According to WQOW, Brown claimed she amputated the foot to make the patient more comfortable, although another nurse told police that Brown's family has a taxidermy shop and Brown planned to preserve the foot and display it with a sign that said: "wear your boots, kids."

A different nurse, according to local reports, told police that she held the victim's hand during the procedure and that he was moaning. Another one of Brown's peers told police that the victim reported that he felt everything during the amputation and it hurt very badly. 

Administrator and CEO of Spring Valley Senior Living and Health Care Kevin Larson said that Brown is not employed with them and provided this statement to local news: “We have and will continue to fully cooperate with the investigation into this matter. The person identified is not employed with our community.”

Each individual charge that Brown is facing carries with it 40 years in prison - bringing her potential total up to 80 years. However, because the victim is an elderly person, the maximum sentence is raised by up to six years per charge. So, Brown could face up to 92 years in prison as well as up to $200,000 in fines. She is due to appear in court on December 6, 2022.