CANTON, Ohio — It's tough enough leaving your loved ones alone. It's even more difficult learning they're not being treated the way you'd hoped.
Julia Wiggins shared two shocking photos of an elderly woman face down in a pillow at a desk, slumped over and alone at an elder care facility in Ohio.
"This is how we found our dear Mother Esther Brown at the nursing home for rehabilitation."
Wiggins said she had taken Esther's son, James, home to change clothes before they came back to the Alter Care Noble Pond's nursing facility to discover the disheartening sight.
They were told she had been moved to a 'private room' at the other side of the facility, and as they started looking for her or nurses to help them find her, they say they 'noticed something' in the corner of the nurses' station.
"After being inquisitive we approached the subject only to find out that it was Mother Esther Brown face down into a soft pillow gasping for breath and strangling on her own saliva," Wiggins shared in the post.
Her son's reaction was almost as heartbreaking as their discovery, as Wiggins writes, "Her son began to cry out that's my momma and we hurried to her and upon hearing her son's voice she tried with all her might to raise her head!"
Wiggins captured the powerful photos before she says they started banging on doors and yelling for help for five to 10 minutes before someone came to help.
"I was able to capture two pictures to share with you so you would know, never to leave your loved ones in the care of people who are only on the job for a paycheck!!!!" She continued on the post.
She is urging other people to 'make random visits' to nursing facilities between the second and third shifts.
She expressed her frustrations further, stating that the nursing facility was 'supposed to be the best in all of Stark County' and that they continued to have problems at the facility.
They have continued to be faced with problems at the nursing facility, Wiggins says.
Wiggins brought back James again and she says no one responded to him buzzing in five times in a row -- at least not until she called to tell them he was trying to make contact. The nurse claimed that the 'light to notify her' had never come on to notify her. Wiggins didn't 'believe her for one minute' since it was the same nurse she says neglected her before.
She says she's not done.
She's made calls out to the executive director Saturday night, who she says she finally heard back from on Monday.
Wiggins also wants to remind people to look out for their relatives.
"I was able to capture two pictures to share with you so you would know, never to leave your loved ones in the care of people who are only on the job for a paycheck!!!!" She wrote.
She's hoping the post will go viral so "others will be aware of the maltreatment going on in these overpriced nursing facilities."
According to CBS affiliate WOIO, The Ohio Department of Health and The Ohio Department of Aging are investigating the situation.
In a statement to the television station, Altercare Nobles Pond wrote:
“We were informed of a family complaint on February 15, 2019. We have followed the protocol established regarding any allegation, including immediately reporting the concern to the Ohio Department of Health and completing an internal investigation.”
WOIO reports the executive director confirmed the facility has followed-up with the family.
“We are in contact with her family including her son who visits daily," a statement said. "The resident is in no distress and remains well cared for by the Altercare Nobles Pond team of dedicated professionals. She is comfortable and safe.”
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