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Conviction Stands in Horrific Elder Abuse Case

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posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 01:15 PM
Well folks. This is a tough one but one I think is worthy of sharing for a couple reasons. First, it's a tough one because it's in my own state, for one. This hardly gives a warm image to Missouri. A state that, for whatever reason, rarely makes the news either way, anyway. I hate it when those few times are for unthinkable things like this. It's worthy to share, IMO, to show how serious a problem this is, and how quickly it can spiral into fatal conditions.

Last but not least, it is worth sharing to see that not every bad guy (or woman) 'gets away with it' somehow in the end and Courts do get it right, if just occasionally.

Here is what I call a nightmare of neglect and lack of basic care.

The woman in this case is/was a Certified Nurses Assistant or CNA. Basically someone on the bottom end of the professional credentials in Nursing, but who is qualified and quite capable of taking care of their diabetic mother, as this indicates the woman moved in to do. She quit her job and became a full time caregiver.

Within a month, Linda had quit her job to provide her diabetic mother, Lorraine, with round-the-clock care after quitting her job. She "first noticed a bedsore the size of a tennis ball on Lorraine's upper buttocks on January 20, 2010," according to the ruling.

After Lorraine's husband died less than two weeks later, and Gargus discouraged visitors after the funeral. A granddaughter of Lorraine who eventually visited the mobile home described it as "dirty and smelly" with Lorraine's "bed ... located in the living room with animal cages stacked around it from floor to ceiling," the court noted.

The Granddaughter found a rodent bite which prompted an action call to authorities. They came, saw and moved the old lady into proper medical care. Unfortunately, the damage was obscenely beyond repair by that stage. Even by medicine at today's levels.

"The infection had eaten the skin and subcutaneous fat around the bedsore, and an investigator for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services testified she could see victim's tailbone through the basketball-sized wound," the ruling states. "The infection tested positive for staph and had turned septic."

Lorraine's doctor concluded that the wound on her foot was "consistent with having been eaten by a rodent."

Her leg was amputated below the knee the next day, and she died a short time later, on March 11, 2010, from multiple organ failure caused by the staph infection.

It's important to highlight the timeline here, as it's among the reasons I shared this. It's more than a criminal issue to read about with passing interest, but practical words of caution too.

Dec, 2009 - The woman here moves in to take care of her mother.
Jan, 2010 - The bedsore, the size of a tennis ball at that stage, is first noticed.
March, 2010 - The lady is dead from Staph infection and multiple organ failure.

Part of the last period, we know, she was under medical care and they were hoping enough to at least try the amputation ..making the time period for the infection shorter than the dates alone would indicate. It really got my attention and I thought it worth making a point on.

Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Gargus claimed on appeal that the state had failed to prove that she knowingly caused harm to her mother.
Source: Courthouse News

She'll have a few more years, at least, to think about what she did to her own Mother. I do hope in terms of how prison time can go for a person, hers is especially hard time. Missouri can be that way, I hear.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 01:30 PM
This is a dreadful story, but one that is not uncommon. Gargus moved in on her mother in order to quit her job. The "needing to take care of mom full time" was just a BS excuse, as it is plain that she did not do it. I'll bet she had access to her mom's bank account, and maybe even power of attorney.

Anybody with half a brain knows that those who are bedridden must be turned, OFTEN, otherwise decubitus sores will occur. This is why normal people turn in their sleep, to avoid putting too much pressure and lack of blood flow on one area.

I cannot imagine the pain this poor old woman endured...not to mention having her lower extremity chewed on by a rat.

Jail time was justified in this case. Neglect is de facto proof of guilt. Neglect on this level is, at the very least, manslaughter.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 01:48 PM
I don't think that sentence is nearly long enough because as a CNA.... she knew better.

Turning, as Fission said, is stressed for anyone bedridden. They even teach you how to in the CNA course and there is a system to make sure they lay for even amounts of time in each position. I know that because I used to be an STNA, the ohio equivalent of a CNA.

Proper care, some cleaning and hygiene, and an exterminator could have saved that woman's life as well as prevented the suffering that she most certainly experienced during that time.

Her own mother... shame on her.

edit on 30pmSat, 30 Nov 2013 13:51:17 -060013SaturdaySaturday1311 by daryllyn because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 02:11 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

If it was just a bedsore I would say maybe the daughter didn't know. Bed sores are extremely common and hard to prevent especially if you're the only one lifting/turning a dead weight body. However, the dirty house and rat eating her mom's foot kinda sealed the deal for me. What a douche.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Not enough information to make that call. 3 months, December to March seems like an awful short period of time for all of that to take place, but.........

I've seen on more than one occasion similar things happen. Once I had a patient, on Thursday I noticed a blister on her great toe, the next morning the blister was open and draining clear fluid. I put on dry gauze, called her MD, he made an appointment for her to come in later Friday afternoon. He called me furious, he didn't understand why I hadn't sent her directly to the ER. When I asked why an ER visit would have been appropriate, he said because the bone was exposed.

I was completely taken aback. I told him that it was impossible for the bone to be exposed, I couldn't even see a break in the skin. There was a red, swollen, raised area to the side of the great toe, fluid was leaking from around the area of tissue that was blanched and pale yellow, but it was clear, not puralent, it wasn't even painful to her. Yet in less than 24 hours, the abcess, that had remained undiscovered, for how long, no one knows, avulsed and not only opened to the size of a quarter, it pushed out tissue and bone.

This elderly lady was diabetic, well loved and cared for, there wasn't even a hint of neglect, so weird things can happen, very quickly, and without warning.

I am sure there's more to the story than meets the eye, there always is, so without more information, I won't begin to even try to weigh in too heavily on this one.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 02:57 PM
reply to post by NightSkyeB4Dawn

I think there is a distinction here in that it's claimed the sore was first noticed in January, much smaller than it was by the time a call was made to force outside intervention.

It seems to me a real question could be made about liability for what had happened to the point of first discovery, but after that? It either would have improved...quickly, and a CNA would know that as well as what to do to help it...or it would require outside intervention real quickly, IMO.

I don't have to have had training to think a bedsore the diameter of a tennis ball in Jan. was enough to raise a red flag....not wait for it to fester more in what sounds like a terrible environment.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 03:27 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

The problem is that she didn't contact anyone until it was too late.

Considering her mother was diabetic there is a strong possibility that even if she had taken her to the doctor the sore would have never healed. That sometimes happens in diabetic bed ridden people. Sores don't heal. However, she didn't even TRY.

I know my father, when dying of cancer developed one. The hospice nurse just stated to try and turn him away from it and keep the bandages fresh but otherwise it was unlikely to heal before he died. It didn't.

I was lucky enough that my three huge gargantuan brothers took time off to take care of him in his last days. I don't even know how the hospice nurse would have without their help as he was incredibly heavy dead weight. Also throw in broken bones and swelling from the cancer and a fresh bedsore and you can imagine the work load. We didn't want him to die in a nursing home. He didn't and was able to see the country as close as a week before his death.

Either way though, this is just straight up neglect. The rat eating her foot is proof that she wasn't being taken care of at all.

posted on Nov, 30 2013 @ 05:10 PM
reply to post by OrphanApology

I am not making excuses for any one. It is obvious that a Ilot went wrong inside that house. There are a lot of things that just are not adding up. Obviously someone knew things were not right in the house. Why didn't someone intervene earlier.

It is horrible, and I see more of this each and every day. People don't plan to get old and families don't plan for the care of their love ones when they do you get old. One day grandmother is fine, next day grandmother can't walk; what happens now? What happens when there's no money, no time and no space?

I can save you a lot of time, insurance doesn't cover it,  and the government does not cover it. You can try to get on the waiting list for state help, hope you can find a place that will take their SSI allotment, or pray you can afford to pay someone or a family member to provide the care.

How much would you charge to provide 24 hour care 365 days a year. I am talking about "total" care. Washing, feeding, dressing, continuous hygiene, medications, wound care, physical therapy, preventive care, and doctors visits. It is really tough if the person is quiet and easy to manage, it can be near impossible, if the person has dementia, is hostile and combative.

Again I am NOT making excuses for anyone. I am saying that this happens more times than we even want to think about. I think in some places elder abuse outranks child abuse.
It is a dirty little secret, taking place and a lot of houses around the world.
It is a problem that any of us could face and it is never easy to deal with. I have no sympathy whatsoever for this woman. My sympathy goes to the poor mother. I just want to remind us all that human problems aren't picky about whos doorstep they show up on, and they rarely give you notice.
edit on 30-11-2013 by NightSkyeB4Dawn because: (no reason given)

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