Father brings gun to hospital to buy time for his ‘brain dead’ son

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HOUSTON — A Texas father will spend Christmas at home after he spent months in jail for bringing a gun to a hospital. George Pickering’s son was diagnosed as “brain dead” almost a year ago. He took a gun to the hospital to stop the staff from removing his son’s life support. Pickering was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Months later his son, George Pickering III, is still alive.

The hospital was planning for a, “terminal wean” after his son suffered from a massive stroke. The process slowly ends a person’s life. They notified an organ donation organization that they had a likely donor.

“I knew if I had three or four hours that night, that I would know whether George was brain-dead or not,” Pickering told KPRC-TV.

Pickering became belligerent, investigators said, and ordered the nurse and everyone else out of the room. He said he would kill himself if his son was going to die.

Why did he bring a gun and threaten people? “At that point I had blinders on. All I knew I just needed to have this time with George.”

While Pickering initially brought a gun into the hospital, he was quickly disarmed by his other son. Still, the hospital staff said he continued to make verbal threats and the police were called. He remained at his son’s bedside, though, and after about three hours, his son squeezed his hand on command.

Seeing his son was not going to be weaned from life support, he surrendered to police.

Since then, one charge was dismissed, while the other was reduced to a lesser offense and he was given credit for time served and was released in December.

The son, George Pickering III, says his father was protecting him and always will.