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New complaint about Snellville nursing home | News

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New complaint about Snellville nursing home
News


SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- Another family has come forward to 11Alive with claims of neglect at New London Health Center in Snellville.

11Alive's Duffie Dixon broke the story about a police investigation into the nursing home and since her first report five weeks ago, numerous families have come forward with complaints against the facility.

Tim Hinds recalled taking his mother, Patricia, to New London Health Center in 2013 when she was 79. Doctors diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer which had spread to her lungs and liver. They gave her three to six months to live.

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"We just wanted her to be in a place where she was comfortable and not in pain," said Tim Hinds.

Tim and his wife, Lynn, said within six weeks Patricia went downhill quickly at New London. They said their first concern came when Patricia was placed in the rehabilitation part of the facility instead of the nursing home.

"Rehab says to me you're going to get better and leave at some point. My mother in law was terminal. They told us there were no rooms in the nursing home area, so the rehab hall would be just as comfortable for her," said Lynn.

"They were not gentle with her at all. They would pick up her legs and arms in bed and call it therapy, but we never wanted any rehab. We just wanted her to have immediate access to morphine and be kept fed and clean," said Tim Hinds.

Within weeks they say neither of those things was being done correctly.

Lynn said at some point, Patricia stopped eating and was placed on a primarily liquid diet.

"She wasn't supposed to be given solid food," Lynn Hinds said. "One night I came in and saw a worker feeding her Mexican rice. I explained she couldn't swallow but the worker insisted she was eating it."

Lynn said she asked the worker to leave and donned gloves to remove what she said was large pockets of food in her cheeks.

"That's when I noticed large open sores in her mouth and you could see this agony on her face as I was cleaning out her mouth," said Lynn.

The Hinds say at another point, surgeons were ready to remove a stent Patricia had in her stomach for about six months, but once at the hospital doctors balked.

"They said her health had deteriorated too quickly for them to put her under for the surgery. They seemed genuinely shocked she had gotten that bad in just six weeks," said Lynn.

Tim Hinds said cleanliness was another ongoing concern.

"Almost 100 percent of the time when we came in, her diaper would not be clean. We would go to the nurses' desk and ask that they come clean up mom when possible. We would wait and wait. I would routinely have to go back at least 3 times before it would happen," said Tim.

The Hinds said they complained verbally to the management at New London Health Center and staffers would promise to do better, but nothing seemed to change.

"We didn't have any options to move her anywhere else. She needed around the clock care but wasn't ready to go to hospice," said Tim.

Yet, after the rice incident they decided to call hospice for the okay to move her anyway. Patricia died two weeks later.

After her death, Tim Hinds says he sent a stack of his mother's medical records and photos of her mouth sores and bed sores to the state.

"They sent a very cool letter back saying they find nothing wrong with the situation. My heart sunk," said Tim Hinds.

The Hinds said it was a story on 11Alive that brought the memories flooding back.

"We were watching TV and saw the New London sign come up. We looked at each other and said 'we're not the only ones'," said Lynn Hinds.

11Alive has uncovered numerous complaints about New London Health Center. There are now multiple investigations underway by Snellville Police, the state, the FBI and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"Seeing the scope of this, there are a lot of families who have suffered worse than we have. It is shameful. My mom was terminal, but I still wanted her to be made comfortable and be cared for," said Tim Hinds.

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