Tragic Death of 15-Year-Old Reveals Failures in Mental Health System

 Tragic Death of 15-Year-Old Reveals Failures in Mental Health System

Jazmin Pellegrini (Image via GoFundMe)

The cause of death has been released for 15-year-old Jazmin Pellegrini, who tragically died in the driveway of a stranger’s San Francisco home on Lobos Street. Jazmin, who ran away from her family’s Bay Point home on April 17, was found just three days later. Her family had frantically searched for her and alerted the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.

“This poor child was abandoned by whoever she was with and left to die. She could have been saved, but strangers ignored her,” her family wrote.

This week, the San Francisco Chief Medical Examiner’s office released an autopsy report revealing Jazmin’s cause of death: a toxic combination of fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. Jazmin’s mother is now demanding answers about what happened to her daughter during the time between her running away and her death.

“Who provided a minor child with a lethal dose of fentanyl, cocaine, and meth in San Francisco?” she asked.

“A tragedy so unreal and impossible to comprehend has taken place, with so many unanswered questions. The truth must be discovered, systemic errors must be corrected, perpetrators must be punished,” Jazmin’s mother, Marta Barany, wrote.

Jazmin Pellegrini was described by her mother as “a beautiful, 15-year-old girl full of love, curiosity, and enthusiasm.” She struggled with PTSD, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, and her family alleges that medical providers were negligent and mistreated her.

On the night of April 17, Jazmin was released from the psychiatric unit of a Contra Costa County hospital in Martinez. Her mother had urged the hospital to keep her daughter longer, believing she needed to be in a safe place with health professionals and security. However, the hospital staff refused, according to Jazmin’s aunt, Ametiszt Hajdu.

“Her mom knew she wasn’t well, she could always tell just by looking in her eyes. When they took her home, she wasn’t talking, wasn’t smiling. She was not OK,” said Hajdu.

During Jazmin’s time in county psychiatric hospitals over the past two years, she became dependent on medications. “Jazmin was not a drug addict, but she became dependent on substances during her hospitalization. The negligent medical establishments heavily medicated her. They failed to provide her any treatment beyond emergency drugs, often consisting of four emergency shots a day,” Barany wrote.

Jazmin’s tragic death highlights significant failures in the mental health care system for teenagers. “Her family had been fighting alongside to get her the long-term care she desperately needed, but the system never came through for Jazmin,” Barany wrote.

In response to her daughter’s death, Marta Barany created a GoFundMe page, “We Want The Truth for Jazmin Pellegrini,” dedicated to identifying and addressing gaps in hospital psychiatric facilities, social services, and child protective services.

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