CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – A woman blames COVID-19 restrictions for the death of her mother.
Shameeka Clark said her mother Selena Shirley was admitted to Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore in March to help get her strong again. However, a few weeks later, the pandemic would hit the country.
Clark said she had always visited her mother, and she didn’t let the coronavirus stop that.
“I was like I’m desperate. I’ll do anything,” she explained. “I’ll stand outside this window until someone opens the blinds. I’ll knock on this window.”
With her only being able to see Shirley outside the window, she didn’t know what was going on in the building.
She said she rarely heard from staff and when she did, it was a voicemail saying her mother was checked on and doing fine.
When she did finally speak to staff, they said her mother had been having some pain and confusion. It wasn’t until Shirley was sent to the hospital that they noticed she was actually suffering.
“She says, well, this is an ulcer. This is beyond a bedsore. This ulcer stage 3, almost stage 4. Four is the highest it can get.”
Clark said when doctors ran tests, they found she had sepsis. A urinary tract infection (UTI) had reached its most severe form.
Shirley died from complications on July 17. Her death certificate named sepsis as the first cause of death, followed by UTI and possible dementia.
Clark said she immediately took pictures of the sores and filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, but it claimed no foul play.
“There are no deficiencies found, meaning I have no case. They cannot find any evidence of the things I have said.”
Since 2015, Pavilion Health Care at Brightmore has been hit with 10 complaints, with three “deficiencies corrected.” This means violations were found, but investigators let them correct the mistakes.
Recertifications also showed residents were left in urinated clothes at times, medicine was switched without their knowledge, and abuse reports were not filed within 24 hours of an incident.
“There might not be someone in that nursing home with a stage 3/4 ulcer, but there was. They didn’t make it. They’re not here to tell their story anymore because they didn’t make it off you trying not to do an effective case.”
Clark has tried to get an attorney to help sue the facility, but she said because of her mother’s underlying conditions, no one wants to take her case.
She hopes by telling this story, she can be an advocate to those who are suffering now and have suffered from neglect gone unnoticed.
Sister station WJZY did reach out to the facility, but no one was available at the time.
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