The family of a woman who died in March 2017 has filed a lawsuit in Texas claiming the woman died as the result of neglect on the part of Cross Country Healthcare Center nursing home, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported in its Dec. 13 edition.
The family of Vicki Brown, who died at age 70, filed the lawsuit against Cross Country Healthcare Center. Brown’s daughter, Shelly Cameron, and her son, John Weldon, are suing the nursing home, the Fort Worth newspaper reported. Cameron said she originally did not want to sue anybody, but felt a responsibility to make sure no one else is treated the way her mother was.
“After seeing what happened to her, we didn’t have a choice,” Cameron said. “You just can’t let this go, it’s going to happen to somebody else. It’s going to happen to somebody else’s mom.”
Senior Living LLC, which operates the nursing home, said it would not comment on pending litigation.
In January 2017, Brown, 70, was found unresponsive at Cross Country Healthcare Center. She had been doing well health-wise until about a week before when she came down with the flu. Within six days, her condition worsened to the point she needed to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Brown was taken to the hospital in an ambulance in January 2017 after she was found unresponsive in the nursing home. When she arrived at the hospital, Brown was unbathed, dirty and dressed only in a T-shirt and briefs. Her eyes were matted closed and her eyelashes were so crusted, she could not open her eyes. Her lips were dry and cracked and covered in dried blood and her lower lip was swollen. Scattered bruises covered her upper and lower body. Brown’s dentures were removed and covered with a brown growth. She had a large ulcer spreading near her pelvis, another on her right leg and one on each foot.
The newspaper also reported that Brown’s physicians reported to the state that Brown had been neglected by the nursing home. The newspaper cited a Department of Aging investigation in February 2017.
“The nurse in charge was horrified,” Cameron said. “The catheter looked like it had coffee grounds in it, that’s how black it was. She had huge bed sores. This all happened in a six day period. Her tongue was bloody. We had never seen her that way. We were scared to death.”
Brown was ultimately diagnosed with sepsis, a urinary tract infection and multiple ulcers. She was treated with antibiotics, but she died three months after arriving at the hospital, in March 2017.
The Department of Aging conducted an investigation of the facility in February 2017 and concluded that conditions there placed residents in immediate jeopardy.
Among other things, the agency found that it failed to prevent residents from developing ulcers. Pressure ulcers form when a patient does not move often enough and the skin becomes worn down. The wound can blister, split open and, if left untreated, cause infection and severe tissue loss.