Son of Pickering long-term care home resident alleges neglect

The son of a long-term care home resident in Pickering, Ont., is speaking out, claiming had he not moved his mother out of Orchard Villa, she may not have survived her COVID-19 ordeal.

Now, after moving her to the Ajax/Pickering Hospital, Simon Nisbet is able to speak to her on the phone. Hearing his mother’s voice and sense of humour once again, he says, is music to his ears.

“Hello,” his mother said while speaking to Simon on the phone. It was the first time he says his mother, 90-year-old Doreen, was cognitive since contracting the virus at the home.

“It’s fantastic,” said Simon after speaking with her for a few moments. “I haven’t heard her laugh in months. She’s talking about feeling better. She’s eating better.”

His mother was at Orchard Villa a few weeks ago while sick with the novel coronavirus, but according to Simon, her health was slowly deteriorating.

“My wife accompanied me one day and was shocked when she saw her. That’s when I made the decision that she needed to get out of there.”

“I was able to call and say my mom is being transferred under the guidance of Lakeridge Health,” he said.

Once at the hospital, Nisbet says doctors told them she was suffering from major health complications.

“It was a relief at first, but that quickly changed when she got there and I became aware of how badly dehydrated she had become,” he said.

Nisbet says his mother’s kidneys have permanent damage, due to what he believes was improper care at the home.

“What she is battling in the hospital is a direct result of negligence that happened in the building,” says Nisbet.

Nisbet, whose mother is doing much better since being transferred to the hospital, has recently tested negative for the virus.

Although it’s great news for him, he says his greatest worry is what could happen next.

“Once they have determined this outbreak is over, she will need to return there,” he said.

“That frightens me. It’s terrifying.”

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