More Quad Citians are coming forward after they say they were mistreated at Heartland Health Care Center in Moline.
That’s after a Rock Island woman sat down with Local 4 News in August after her grandpa, James Leffler, unexpectedly died just three days after being admitted to the nursing home.
After hearing Leffler’s story, Warren and Jeanette Wren said they knew they needed to speak up. Now the Moline couple is hoping their story will serve as a warning to others.
In 2016, Warren was fighting for his life after he unexpectedly collapsed in his driveway. He was rushed to his hospital, where the doctors said they didn’t expect him to survive.
“They said ‘I don’t think he’s going to make it,'” said Warren.
Luckily he did, which is how he ended up at Heartland Health Care Center to recover. But on Friday, he said that wasn’t the case.
“I would have to call them at night or walk down the hall and ask ‘don’t I have to have my medication tonight?”” said Warren.
And that’s not all. Warren says they moved him to different rooms, eventually leaving him out of sight and out of mind.
“I was in there about ten days, and two-thirds of that time…no hygiene at all. No bath, no nothing,” said Warren.
After less than two weeks, Jeanette said she couldn’t watch her husband suffer anymore.
“I said we’re getting him out of here, whatever you have to do because he’ll be better off at home. This is ridiculous.”
Warren says while he was laying in his bed at Heartland all he could think was:
“One word: helpless,” he said.
But when Warren left Heartland, he left with a bad infection, one he’s never fully recovered from.
“The biggest disappointment,” said Jeanette. “I was ashamed of the Quad Cities for awhile.”
Fast forward to today, the Wrens say hearing Leffler’s story was devastating.
“This poor gentleman, what happened to him…it could’ve been anybody,” said Warren.
And Jeanette said she couldn’t imagine losing her husband of 42 years the way Leffler’s family lost him.
“It’s very scary because this is the other half of me,” she said. “He’s dad, he’s Grandpa Warren.”
And now they’re breaking their silence, hoping to be one more voice for the voiceless.
“When dealing with a newborn to 95 years old, you need to take care of those people, and when that isn’t done, it’s a crime.”
Warren went on to say he hopes their experience will encourage others to do their research when choosing a care facility, to help prevent anyone from having similar experiences.
Marjorie Boyd, another former patient, reached out to Local 4 News to share her experience. She said in part:
“In August of last year I fell at Heartland facility where I was recovering from major back surgery…Less than two weeks after I came for rehab I found myself on the floor in the middle of the night but have no memory of even getting out of bed. I had fallen and sustained a spiral fracture of my right femur as well as the femur snapped in two…That caused me to stay two months in rehab instead of three weeks…They said I didn’t put my light on to get up but I have no memory of anything after they gave me my pain med and except to cry for help on the floor. I have no memory of the next 48 hours…I know they filled out a major incident report for the state but I never heard anymore about it. I feel bad for the loss of their family member.”
Heartland Health Care Center in Moline released a statement to Local 4 News in response to these claims saying:
“We strive to create a secure and safe environment for all patients and will continue to ensure the health and safety of our patients.”