“His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere. The staff member says to me, ‘When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn’t even alive, because the ants were all over him.'” That’s how the daughter of a VA nursing home resident at the VA’s Eagle’s Nest Community Living Center near the Atlanta VA Medical Center described the over 100 ant bites her father suffered as a result.
The VA nursing home resident had served in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam and was fighting terminal cancer at the time his room was overtaken by ants. VA nursing home staff reportedly bathed the man and cleaned his room but the ants returned the following day. He was moved to another room, where he died in early September 2019 from his cancer (the ant bites did not contribute to his death, according to reports). It has been reported that at least two other VA nursing home residents also suffered ant bites at the facility.
After her father’s death, his daughter stated, “If it didn’t promote his body to die quicker, what is the protocol within the VA just to manage when something like this happens? He served his country in the Air Force, and I think that he deserved better.”
The VA issued a statement regarding the ant problem at the VA nursing home in Georgia that stated, in part: “The Atlanta VA Health Care System leadership team has been notified that ants were found in our Community Living Center and impacting patients. CLC staff immediately cared for the Veterans and took action to ensure no other CLC residents were impacted. We would like to express our heartfelt remorse and apology to the Veterans’ families and have reached out to them to offer appropriate assistance … A regional VA pest control expert will conduct a site visit to assess the CLC ant issue by Sep 13. Atlanta VA Health Care System always strives to provide Veterans with the very best health care available. When we don’t meet that standard, we hold ourselves accountable. That’s why we have initiated a fact finding on the nursing and environmental care processes to ensure we are providing safe and effective care. Our response to this incident is an opportunity to reevaluate our overall operations to provide even better care to our Veterans moving forward.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a VA nursing home due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home understaffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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