Nursing home neglect

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

After allegations of neglect in a Celina nursing home, a family tells KXII their story. We told you about the Amberwood Care Center earlier this week. A state agency appointed a trustee to take over the facility after investigators found the patients in poor conditions.

Starla Blaylock says her daughter Stephanie lived at Amberwood Care Center for five months and felt powerless as she watched her daughter experience mistreatment.

Medicaid placed Stephanie in the center after she had a devastating accident while riding a horse that sent her into a coma, Starla said.

During Stephanie’s time at Amberwood, Starla says the staff would wait weeks before washing her hair, didn't monitor her oxygen levels properly, and allowed dogs not used as handicap aides to roam around the facility.

Stephanie was 26 years old when she died in March from her injuries. Starla says she probably would have lived longer if she stayed somewhere else.

"Everytime we just kept hitting dead ends and couldn't get here out of there,” Starla said. “The story that ran said maybe they can save the 42 people's lives that were in there, well it's too late to save our daughter."

Starla says she contacted the Texas Department on Aging and Disabilities, the agency investigating the center. They are adding her case to the file. The owner of the facility is not allowed to interfere with the state-appointed trustee currently running the home.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Steve Location: Gainesville on Sep 10, 2007 at 01:47 AM
    It is very hard to read the views on what people think about why we as parents did not get our daughter out of Amberwood. We tried. Yes she was coming out of a coma slowly. But so many things against her. Needing to be in a real hospital. The lady who hit her Ins. Should have placed her in a hospital even if they wanted more proff. Had it been the other way around they would have wanted their daughter in a hospital. If we could go back in life we would have just taken care of our daughter the best way we knew how and even if it meant helping her with a paper route. She was on my Insurance until of age and then doing what we felt to be right was placed on SSI. Would have been reavaluated in a few years. No on can know what will happen in life. But for sure she was not treated as a equal because of being on Government Medicaid. Theres a lot more to this story then people know. Someone in a coma can not pull a cord in distress. We loved our daughter. The Lord has her now. We have memories
  • by Starla Location: Gainesville on Sep 9, 2007 at 11:49 PM
    I want to thank the people who tried to understand why the state placed Stephanie in the nursing center. She was on SSI because of having PDD. And was living on her on with help from us her parents. She met a friend and started riding horses with her. We told her there are dangers she knew all that. She was just crossing a bridge to get to the other side so she would not have traffic coming at her. She had her white rabbit fur coat on. Paper 1st said she had nothing reflective on The 2nd report when she passed away was more correct she did have reflective clothing on. She was hit at only 6:i5. Not real dark. The officer felt the lady was going to fast. She was supposed blinded by a car with bright lights. We feel we were out there and felt we could see perfect on right side. The Hospitals let her go to Amberwood with 4 things against her. So that is why she was placed in that awful place. We tried and tried to get her out. They were to late getting her to the hospital to save her life.
  • by Family Location: Sherman on Aug 1, 2007 at 08:37 AM
    I'm in agreement with Anonymous, we placed our father in a nursing home 5 years ago and it was the most difficult decision we ever made. My father was blind, kidney failure, dementia, previous heart attack, previous stroke, he couldn't feed himself, he couldn't use the bathroom on his own, and he couldn't walk. My father would require around the clock care. We could not afford to take care of him. We know the nursing home did the best they could with what they had to care for him. As we often talk about teachers, fireman, policeman, and nursing home employees are not paid enough money for what's required of them. It's important that you visit your family at the nursing home. When we would visit our father at the nursing home there were patients that we never saw family. We realize that some of the families don't live in the same town and it's difficult to check on your family. It's our responsibility and priority to take care of our family.
  • by TRACY Location: SHERMAN on Jul 30, 2007 at 02:24 PM
    STARLA I think everyone wants to know why did the state have custody of her to begin with and why was she on medicaid
  • by Starla Location: Gainesville on Jul 27, 2007 at 09:25 PM
    We are Stephanie's parents and we did everything we could do to get her out of Amberwood. We made several complaints and no one would listen to us. We did wash her hair but we were told if we did there job then they would let us. The dogs would rub their butts across the carpets and pee in the hallways.We were told when we ask about oxygen they told us they were supose to be that way. The doctor told us they let her fever go to high temperature of close to 105 and 105 at least twice. We made them take her to hospital if fever went to 103 but they would not call us because of hospital in McKinney would not keep her more than few days and send her back. Once knowing she had a blood clot in her leg and one in her lung. What are we as parents can we do if Medicaid won't let them keep her knowing that. Stephanie was in Coma but was tring to recover and opening her eyes they were over medicating her and respitory was to rough and her lungs filled up and her trach closing off. more to say!!!!
  • by Anon Location: bryan on Jul 27, 2007 at 02:38 PM
    What is meant by "didn't care for her". Nobody ever died from not washing your hair. Why didn't the family wash her hair if they were concerned? Unless the dogs were biting her, what is the problem? What is meant by not monitoring oxygen levels? Was she on a ventilator? Did she ever come out of the coma? If not she was compromised nutritionally as well as physically. There are many things to look at here before "abuse" is determined.
  • by Jerri Location: Grayson on Jul 27, 2007 at 02:18 PM
    I am wondering why the state had custody of this woman and not the family. If they felt there was not enough care and were unable to move her, why didn't they go daily and take care of her? Just wondering.
  • by myrt Location: grayson on Jul 27, 2007 at 01:09 PM
    the arguments of the nursing home knows in advance verses it is illegal is a mutepoint.so is all the self defensive rhetoric from nursing home employees about nursing homes and abuse. a law maker did not just get up one sunday and say I think I'll just make some laws about nursing homes and abuse. it sounds good. laws are made after investigation, hearings of evidence and testimony.the making of a law must be proved necessary. there are specific offenses outlined and specific penalties,punishments outlined. abuse does happen.it has been proven and laws have been made. that is not to say everyone does abuse, that it is not everyday or hour of the day at all times. but if it is you or your loved one, it seems that bad and worse. that is why there are so many different govt.agencies and a vast number of employees employed to the end of investigation of these things. the vastness and numbers of agencies are the reason persons(cases or clients) get lost in the shuffle( form of abuse ?)
  • by TRACY Location: SHERMAN on Jul 27, 2007 at 12:11 PM
    OK IF YOUR ON MEDICAID AND THEY SAY THIS IS WHERE SHE IS GOING BUT YOU DONT HAVE THE MEANS OR SPACE TO TAKE CARE OF HER BY THE TIME THE STATE OF TEXAS INVESTIGATED THE REPORT SHE WAS ALREADY GONE ANYHOW SO THERE DONT COME DOWN ON THE MOTHER COME DOWN ON THE STATE THE LADY WHO SAID SHE HAS WORKED IN NURSING HOMES AND HAVE SEEN THE ABUSE AND REPORTED IT WELL NO ONE HEARD HER SAY THAT THE STATE WAS THERE TO FIX IT DID SHE THERE YOU GO AGAIN ITS ALL ABOUT THE STATE DOING THERE JOBS
  • by myrt Location: grayson on Jul 27, 2007 at 11:49 AM
    these replys are as shocking as the described treatment. unless one has facts post deliberation it is difficult to tell. yes it DOES occur. i have seen it as employee and as client.things are circuitous as those who abuse will defend their jobs vigerously and there is little protection,support for the reporter or the client: no matter what you are told or read. yes, laws are there but enforcement is a very pliant and difficult thing. who wants to prosecute their selves,friends, and relatives for that is what it amounts to. Adult protective services has been witnessed to do the most direct and effective services for this type service. there is also a protective, ombudsman arm of the state A G of Texas that is fairly swift, accurate,and very compliant. most persons call the overworked and ambivalent social services getting double talk and double standards. when in need call the A G office and get an adult protective services investigation and ombudsman.there is no prior communications.
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