Cherry Hospital Nursing Home Neglect

Posted on Dec 04, 2008

Local reports show there has been another incident reported at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Cherry Hospital is a state-run long-term hospital for the mentally ill and other disabled patients. Last August, surveillance cameras caught a number of hospital attendants on tape blatantly ignoring nursing home patient Steven Sabock of Roanoke Rapids. Sabock, who suffered from bipolar disorder, can be seen on the tape being neglected. At one point he falls down and hits his head. Negligent hospital staff are caught on camera. The attendants can be seen playing cards, talking on their cell phones, and watching television.

In response to the tapes, three workers at Cherry Hospital have been fired while others have received reprimands, written warnings, and suspensions. However, the hospital's nursing director released a statement that the attendants checked the patient. The tapes does not show evidence of this, though.

In the tape, the patient sits for 22 hours in distress while nurses do nothing. He is not fed, helped to the bathroom, or engaged in any way. At one point, the tape shows him choking on his medicine. His father was not allowed to visit his son and was told that he was sleeping or lying down.

In another development, the North Carolina medical examiner's office concluded that Sabock died of a heart condition unrelated to nursing home neglect. On the other hand, autopsy reports show that he did have extra fluid in his brain, a sign of head trauma or brain injury.

Sabock's wife, Susan is appalled with how the case is being handled. "It's very hard for me to watch, but of what I've seen, it's the most disgusting thing I can imagine. It's like we're in a bad dream and we just can't get up. How is this hospital still open? I just don't understand."

In August of last year, two attendants at the same hospital were arrested for beating a nursing home patient, while three other employees have been arrested for nursing home abuse in the past as well.

The hospital is now facing state and federal investigation.

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