I am writing on behalf of my friend. He spent the better part of a year in and out of hospitals and nursing home facilities as his condition worsened. For the most part he received good care as he dealt with his illness. The Prospect Park Nursing Home, where he spent much of his final months, was not reflective of this experience. The things I witnessed and repeatedly complained about there have haunted me. I do not believe that the Prospect Park Nursing Home is a place where you should send anyone you love.
The neglect was ultimately devastating to his health and life. The list of issues is a long one. These are the lowlights:
• On two occasions my friend had a hypoxic event and the alarm never sounded. The time I was present his pulse oxygen level dipped to 64. When the staff was told, there was still a wait for someone to attend to him.
• On several occasions my friend was so severely dehydrated he was headed toward renal failure. Emergently, he was sent to Taylor Hospital, where they managed to improve his kidney function merely by hydrating him. A fact that could easily be checked by the records at Taylor Hospital.
• He had multiple bedsores, one so deep it threatened to go through his skull into his brain. Several medical professionals have told me that wounds do not advance to such a degree if a patient is turned properly.
• At a certain point he became incontinent. There were times, when his bandages were changed, the nurse never bothered to sterilize the wounds. This even occurred after he soiled himself and the wound site was contaminated with feces.
• On more than one occasion his feeding tube leaked and went unnoticed by the staff, until a family member or friend brought it to their attention.
• When I arrived one night, my friend’s feeding tube was off. When I asked the nurse, she said the aid must have forgotten to turn it back on after changing his sheets. This occurred on a second occasion as well.
• Both friends and family witnessed cockroaches and water bugs during their visits.
• Used washcloths from the previous day were still in his room the next. At times the trash bin in his bathroom was overflowing with trash for days.
• His catheter not being anchored properly caused wounds to his urethra. My friend was immobile at the time, so there was no way he caused the issue.
• I once found a handwritten list of his medical issues out in the open in the bathroom. He shared a room with other patients, who often had visits from friends and family. How is this not a clear violation of a patient’s right to privacy?
The above bullet points are a brief glimpse into what family and friends witnessed during my good friend’s time at the Prospect Park Nursing Home. Though my friend’s prognosis was grim, it doesn’t mean they had the right to treat him in such a way. We attempted to be there as much as possible for him, but sadly, we could not compensate for the incompetence, and negligence of the staff. I do not understand why Prospect Park is allowed to operate in such a way. It is too late to help my friend, but perhaps something can be done for future patients of this facility.