Bruises and suspected neglect lead daughter to relocate mother from Colonial Heights care facility


COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WRIC) – Fearing for the health and safety of her mother, Hazel Drumgoole said she removed her mother from the Colonial Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and filed complaints at the level of the State and federal level.

8News discovered that the facility had a history of problems.

Marie Drumgoole was transported to Colonial Heights Health Care Center for stroke rehab. Her stay, which only lasted three weeks after her daughter noticed bruises on her mother.

“A big bruise on the left side of her stomach and a big bruise on her thigh,” Hazel Drumgoole said.

Hazel Drumgoole claims the health center couldn’t explain what happened to her mother. She has her own ideas.

She said, “I took care of my mother for years, never hurt her. I am thinking of unnecessary roughness.

She shared photos with 8News to prove it.

His 94-year-old mother arrived at Colonial Heights care center with a heart monitor, but Hazel Drumgoole said he was never logged in.

“She was here two weeks and they didn’t know she had a heart monitor,” Hazel Drumgoole said. “It’s neglect, I think it’s neglect.”

Hazel Drumgoole said her mother couldn’t even speak to her family by phone during her first ten days at the center.

She said: “The receiver was missing from the phone.”

Hazel Drumgoole was not allowed to visit her mother in person at first due to COVID-19 restrictions, but she requested a compassionate visit. She said that upon entering it was clear to her that no one had washed or combed her mother’s hair.

“Her hair was all tangled at the back,” she said.

In addition, a suitcase full of personal belongings was empty.

“All of his clothes and shoes were missing,” Drumgoole said.

Eventually, a pair of her pants were found in the laundry room and an outfit and shoes were found in the roommate’s closet. However, Hazel Drumgoole said the majority of her mother’s belongings are still missing.

This is not the first time that the establishment has been accused of having lost personal items. 8News found that an investigation into a complaint last year determined that facility staff had not investigated a concern about missing hearing aids.

“It was total neglect here,” Drumgoole said.

8News has requested an interview with the management of Colonial Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. They refused but we were told in a statement:

“We are very sorry to learn of the problems alleged by the family of our former resident. The quality care and well-being of our residents is always of the utmost importance to everyone at Colonial Heights Rehabilitation Center. We are fully committed to our residents and always hold ourselves to the highest standards. We are unable to comment further, due to HIPPA and privacy practices for the former resident and their family. “

-Tyler Mackall Administrator, Colonial Heights Rehabilitation and Nursing Center

8News found that the nursing facility is rated well below the federal government average, and that at the height of the pandemic, the center experienced a COVID-19 outbreak resulting in 24 deaths.

Hazel Drumgoole urges those who have loved ones in a care facility to watch them and request a compassionate visit to see what is going on inside.

She said, “A lot of the patients here, they’re non-verbal, they can’t express themselves, they can’t speak, they can’t tell their story. The family must visit them.

Medical experts tell us that sometimes medical details like a heart monitor can get lost in transit if not noted by a doctor. It is therefore important to ask questions and to make sure that the doctor and the establishment have communicated.

If you are having a problem with a facility and want to file a complaint, you can do so by filling out a nursing home complaint form and sending it to the Virginia Department of Health.


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