Daytona Beach, FL – A 61-year-old Palm Coast woman was arrested on Monday for allegedly killing her husband while he was recovering in a hospital bed.
64-year-old Henry Sochalski had elective back surgery on April 7, 2016, and hospital staff expected him to make a full recovery. Mr. Sochalski was prescribed dilaudid, a pain medication that was patient controlled by pressing a button. However, a staff member said they saw the victim’s wife, Jan Sochalski, administering the pain medication to her husband. Mrs. Sochalski is a retired nurse (was a nurse for over 40 years), but she was asked to not administer the pain medication for her husband.
When the pain medication machine was checked, staff found that the button had been pressed 264 times over an 8 hour period, but it was only supposed to be pressed 6 times an hour. There was a safety mechanism built into the machine so that it wouldn’t dispense more medication than had been prescribed.
After interviewing several staff members at the hospital, detectives learned that Mrs. Sochalski had asked for medications that would decrease her husband’s respiratory status. According to the witness, this was basically asking for her husband to be killed.
Mr. Sochalski went into respiratory and cardiac arrest on April 9th and was unresponsive until he died on May 19. Mrs. Sochalski was with him when he passed.
Nurses said on the day that Mr. Sochalski died, his oxygen tube was in place at 8 AM, but when his vitals crashed about 30 minutes later they saw the tube had been removed and his nose was red. The nurses couldn’t think of a medical reason for his nose being red, but one nurse said they saw Mrs. Sochalski touching her husband’s face and possibly pinching his nose.
After an autopsy, Mr. Sochalski’s death was deemed a homicide. Mrs. Sochalski denied any involvement in her husband’s death, but she was arrested on Monday morning. She’s being charged with 2nd-degree murder and is being held at the Volusia County Jail without bail.
Photo courtesy Nuttapol Pingpittayakun and Shutterstock.com.
(Jan Sochalski mugshot courtesy Volusia County Jail)
Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2016.