Ex-Holly nursing home worker alleges neglect in 2 patient deaths

Ex-Holly nursing home worker alleges neglect in 2 patient deaths

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News


HOLLY, Mich. (WJBK) -- A woman who wishes to remain antonymous has worked at a few nursing homes over the last 30 years, but claims she has never seen such poor patient care as she did at Oakland County's Holly Convalescent Center.

"It should be shut down.  No one is safe there," she said.

On December 12, the certified nurses assistant filed a complaint with the state claiming two patients over the last year chocked to death and that nurses on duty didn't follow the proper protocol for resuscitation -- performing the Heimlich, but refusing to do CPR or call 9-1-1.

"She did nothing.  Matter of fact, she told me, 'You can stop.  She's gone.'  I thought it was horrible, and I've been haunted by this.  She died in my arms."

To this day, she says the patients' families believe their loved ones died from a heart attack and the nursing home covered up the fact that nurses neglected to seek medical help.

"When [she] died and we put her back in the bed, they had me finish digging out the sandwich out of her throat and told me to be careful not to cut her throat with my nails so there wouldn't be any tears in her throat or any bleeding."

This woman no longer works at the nursing home.  Although paperwork shows she received stellar reviews, she says she was fired for willful neglect just days after she complained about the neglect of another patient and told administrators she wouldn't lie about what happened.

"I have to pay my bills.  I have kids to support.  I'm a single mom.  I needed a job, but when you have someone die in your arms, that doesn't go away."

She struggled about coming forward, but now she is glad she did.  The state is investigating.  Based on interviews and records, the Department of Health and Human Services says the facility failed to provide necessary care and services that led to their deaths.

The state's investigation determined two out of six patients at the Holly Convalescent Center were in immediate jeopardy.  According to the report, the facility made changes right away to change its status, but the state still says it's not in compliance.

I spoke to the owner for the for-profit nursing home, David Hainey, by phone, who turned down an interview.

Online records show the nursing home has a history of below average reviews and has been cited over the years for a number of deficiencies.

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs says this case is still under review and a final report has yet to be released.

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