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Child's sad death in nursing home fuels feds' case against Rick Scott administration

For 14 years, Doris Freyre cared for her profoundly disabled daughter in her modest Tampa home, pureeing fresh fruit, yams and vegetables and surrounding the girl with family photos and pictures of angels.

Marie Freyre died in the care of a $506-per-day nursing home — sobbing, shaking and screaming for her real home.

She never saw her Minnie Mouse plush toy, her Winnie the Pooh or her Cabbage Patch Kids again. She never again saw her Mami or her Abuela.

Marie had been taken to the Florida Club Care Center against her mother’s wishes. Social workers insisted the Miami Gardens nursing home was the safest place for the 14-year-old, who suffered from, among other things, cerebral palsy and seizures. But the evening Marie arrived, records show, nurses did not give her life-sustaining medications and she may have had no food except applesauce.

When Marie struggled to breathe in the two hours before she died, no one at the nursing home called a doctor.

“We are still mourning for her,” said Jose Freyre, Marie’s grandfather. “She was a part of us. It was like losing a leg or an arm or a heart. We are all hurting.”

Marie’s death stands as a bitter reminder of a dog fight between state health regulators and federal civil rights lawyers, who have accused the state of warehousing sick and disabled children as virtual potted plants. The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights division has threatened to sue the state if it does not take steps to care for sick children outside of large institutions. Story by Carol Marbin Miller here.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/10/3091570/no-place-like-home.html#storylink=cpy


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S Johnson

As I don't know all of the circumstances, this is another scenario where the government has stepped in whether 'right' or 'wrong' and made decisions regardless of the outcome. Best wishes to those involved.



Either the overpaid private non-profit group's executives who are paid with tax dollars to coordinate this girl's care should be severely fined, if not prosecuted; or the government bureaucrats who are paid with tax dollars to oversee the group's care should be fired, if not prosecuted; or both.

Common sense tells you that for even profoundly disabled kids, way much less than $500 per day could be paid to the families to care for these kids at home, instead of in the greedy hands of the nursing home operators.

When did we create a system that is so stupid?

And isn't it way past time the press seriously investigated just how overpaid are the managers of many "nonprofits" that state social service and health agencies contract with?

The chief difference between a "nonprofit" and a corporation contracting with the government is that the "nonprofit" management, often former government employees, don't have to answer to an owner or shareholders, but get to overpay themselves and their collection of "nonprofit" cronies who serve on their boards.

Cynthia Palmer

This is a problem that a lot of states are faced with. Whenever they don't know where a person should receive long term care they aways think nursing home.Nursing home staff are NOT, prepared to take care of this type of patient. In a nursing home one nurse may have 30-40 patients and thats on days and afternoon shift. On midnights the numbers could be higher. You spend hours passing meds and doing treatments and answering families questions, calling the doctors about changes in conditions, and labs, patients request, falls, refusals of medications and please don't let an admission come. You come in and hope you are staffed with enough cna's, you pray that they are good and take care of the patients properly and report any changes they find.
This patient should have been at home with people who know her and how to take care of her. They should have had home care where a nurse comes in a few hours a day along with a home health aide to do personal care and light house keeping. What is even worse is that a nurse come out for a visit in Michigan is like 50.00 for an hour and a aide would be 20.00 hour. so what they paid for in a day (500.00) would have more then a nurse coming 5xs a week (250.00) and an aide everyday 5xs a week(200.00)a total of 450.00 a week. And for them to waste money and the patient received substandard csre for more money is what's a crime.
Its just sad that it ended this way, my prayers are with her mother and family. I know they are suffering and that words will not ease their heavy hearts but, I hope in time they see that this is why their daughter was put her. And to fight so others don't end up being lead down the wrong path in their daughters, Marie name.

Medication Management Systems

This is terrible. I work at a group home, and we specifically have medication management systems and state regulations we have to adhere to. Each staff member is accountable for ANY medicine (even gummy vitamins or ibuprofen) that is given to the youth. If they overdose, the burden lies on the staff and the agency. I know we are regularly inspected, and I have no idea how something like this could have happened. This is awful and my heart goes out to the family.

Mike Cornelia

What an absolutely sad story. I am attending nursing school in PA and this has actually been brought up. It is good to know that the nursing community is doing something about this so that it doesn't happen again.

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