ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Nursing home negligence of residents has become a top priority for elected officials across the state, especially after 12 residents died at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida during Hurricane Irma.
For one Orange County elected official, this is now more than a priority, but her personal reality: her loved one recently became a victim of nursing home negligence.
The Frantic 911 Call
Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Board Vice Chairman and Supervisor Daisy Morales was frantic and disturbed during a call to 911 dispatchers to report a case of severe negligence to her special needs sister at a local nursing home in Winter Garden Thursday morning.
Emergency officials arrived at Colonial Lakes Healthcare to transport Supervisor Morales’ sister, who appeared to be suffering from malnutrition, dehydration and a severe bedsore after being admitted to the facility for rehabilitation August 13.
Florida Hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Supervisor Morales’ sister was admitted to Florida Hospital after Morales discovered her neglected condition at the nursing home. At the hospital, medical officials photographed her condition and provided treatment. Due to her sister’s failing health, she was upgraded to the intensive care unit (ICU) for further evaluation and treatment for a bedsore infection, according to Morales.
Severe Bedsore Required an Operation
Morales told Florida National News in an exclusive interview that her sister’s bedsore was so infected that it required medical officials to remove parts of her buttocks to prevent the problem from reaching the bone. “This is unacceptable. I can’t believe the horrific pain my sister suffered during her short stay at this nursing home,” Morales expressed. “She’s now permanently disfigured and could possibly deal with God-knows-what complications with this surgery.”
Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Agency For Health Care Administration (AHCA), which regulate nursing homes statewide, have launched their own investigations against the nursing home, per Morales’ request. “I am thankful to U.S. Senator Bill Nelson’s office referring my complaint to state officials for investigation, and I will not stop there,” Morales stated. “Someone must be held civically and criminally liable for this unspeakable neglect of my sister. She is still in intensive care and fighting for her life.”
AHCA Fined Nursing Home $20,000
Morales’ complaint against the nursing home is not the first of this facility’s troubles–the nursing home recently settled a $20,000 fine by AHCA. Additionally, the facility has a “Much Below Average” overall rating according to Medicare.gov, which also provides detailed reports of the facility’s healthcare deficiencies.
Though this patient is Morales’ own sister, she has previously advocated for other seniors and the special needs community, given her experience as an advisory member with Orange County Disability Advisory Board and as Elderly Ambassador with Orange County Commissioner on Aging.
This a developing story. Additional details forthcoming. Bookmark this article to receive updates.
Mellissa Thomas is Editor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org