Heritage Healthcare — Failure to evacuate during Gustav
My Mom was a resident of a nursing home located in Jefferson Parish for advanced Alzheimer's Disease. She required the use of oxygen & suction to prevent respiratory distress, & used a feeding tube. Prior to Gustav I was told that my Mom was evacuated to Hammond, but I didn't find out the name of the home until after we returned. She was evacuated to Heritage Healthcare Center in Hammond.
My husband & I stopped at a gas station in Hammond around 1:00 to use the bathroom & get gas on the way to Natchez, & were told to be quick because they were beginning evacuation in Hammond at 2:00 pm. I was hopeful that the nursing home my Mom was evacuated to would also evacuate, since most nursing homes in LA are afraid of law suits since what happened during Katrina.
We were allowed back into the area Wednesday morning Sept 3, 2008. After bringing our pets home, we went to my Dad's house to check on him. He stayed for the storm & I was unable to reach him because his house phone & cell phone wasn't working. While I was there his cellphone started working again, & he received a few messages from Heritage Healthcare. He returned the call & we learned that Momma passed away that morning at 9:10 am.
Heritage DID NOT evacuate, they lost power, & what we were told was that my Mom went into respiratory distress - probably because she was not being suctioned or receiving oxygen (both require electricity). No doubt she also wasn't getting anything through her feeding tube for the same reason. They told my Dad that they put her on morphine to keep her from suffering, which implies that she was having a hard time. I'm grateful for the fact that they at least gave her morphine, but why would they ignore a mandatory evacuation order???? I am positively infuriated at this nursing home!!!
I've looked on mapquest to find the location of Heritage Healthcare & they were literally right down the road from the gas station we stopped at that was closing early to evacuate!!!
Today I attend my Mom's funeral. Thank you Heritage Healthcare.