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Let me begin this journal entry by admitting the obvious: I’m not only telling my story here, but I’m also telling the story of a wonderful woman, my mother: Joann G. Poland. She passed away on January 1, 2009 and I believe that the cause of her death was directly related to nursing home neglect.
My mother died as the result of complications caused by aspiration pneumonia. On the Monday before her death (she died on a Thursday), she vommitted almost non-stop for nearly 10 1/2 hours!!! What caused the vomiting that lead to the aspiration pneumonia? SEVERE BOWEL IMPACTION!!! What caused the impaction? Nursing home staff that (for reasons of laziness and/or malice, I don’t know which) failed to properly chart her bowel movements for likely nearly two months! Make no mistake: Tracking bowels movements is one of the most basic things a nursing home is required by law to do on a daily basis! To not do so is clearly criminal!
I write this journal entry on Tuesday, December 8, 2009. Tomorrow (December 9) would be my momma’s 80th birthday if nursing home neglect hadn’t claimed her life. She is survived by me, as well as her twin brother, a sister-in-law and a niece. I would loved for my momma to have lived at least long enough to celebrate her 80th birthday with my wonderful Uncle Joe.
Momma, I love you with all my heart and I miss you more than you could ever know!
Your memory continues to be an inspiration to me. What nursing homes did to you was criminal and in your memory — as I promised you the day before you died — I pledge to continue to work and pray to make positive changes take place within the nursing home industry so that NO other nursing home resident need ever suffer like you did because of unsepakable nursing home neglect and abuse.