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The serious medical needs of an 84-year-old US Army veteran were ignored by nursing home staff resulting in the veteran’s death from gangrene infected genitals that required surgical intervention.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration concluded its investigation into what has been called “mind blowing” neglect that left an elderly veteran with genitalia flesh “so rotten” that it was “about to fall off.”

The veteran, York Spratling, was transferred to a new nursing home called Consulate Health Care located in Jacksonville, Florida. He was experiencing deteriorating health due to diabetes. After three months, York’s health took a turn for the worse, but it had little to do with diabetes.

The veteran was brought into an emergency room on a stretcher when he suffered from complications of an infection. A physician soon approached the family with alarming news following an assessment.

The physician informed the family that York required emergency surgery to remove dead tissue from his genitals that had become infected with gangrene. A gangrene infection of the tissue is caused by a lack of blood supply that can present with fever or sepsis.

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According to Military Times reporting on the incident:

The doctor said “he had never seen anything like that before, especially in this day and age,” Derwin Spratling told the Naples Daily News. “It really freaked us out.”

“Who was taking care of this man?” Spratling’s sister, Lula Price-Brown, asked. “His private area, nobody washed that.”

After the procedure to remove the rotten flesh, Spratling’s condition worsened exponentially.

“It didn’t just happen overnight, but it was quicker than you could imagine,” Derwin said.

Soon after, York Spratling was dead.

State investigators from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, which oversees nursing home regulations, began looking into Spratling’s case in the aftermath of what appeared to be gross mismanagement of a nursing home patient.

The AHCA had already cited the Consulate Health Care nursing home three times in the year leading up to the 84-year-old’s death, with each report pointing to inadequate staffing and an inability to provide even the most basic care for patients, such as bathing or hygiene.

Months before Spratling’s death, an unnamed patient at the same nursing home submitted an alarming complaint to AHCA inspectors, noting, “I have not had a shower in I don’t know how long,” according to the report.

Inspectors learned the stench from York’s infection was so strong it could be detected into the hallway. Another patient questioned in the matter told inspectors, “I wallow around in this bed in my own piss.”

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Family members were shocked by York’s deteriorated state. The infection was “way past obvious,” Derwin Spratling said, the veteran’s nephew. “This is so past obvious that it’s mind-blowing.”

“Everything was about to fall off, it was so rotten,” York Spratling’s brother, Obie, affirmed.

A local newspaper, the Naples Daily News investigation is conducting an investigation into widespread nursing home malpractice throughout the state.

In a country boasting the majority of the world’s wealth and resources, how is it still allowed for our elderly community to be neglected in this manner? Where are the protests?

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24 Comments

  1. “Consulate noted in its defense that state inspections of its nursing homes often resulted in no fines. But recent years have shown that doesn’t mean the company’s homes are free of problems.

    Inspectors with the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration have repeatedly cited Consulate homes for mistreating and neglecting patients, including violations serious enough to shut them down. But the agency rarely responded with anything more than a small fine, records show.”

    “https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/special-reports/2018/05/31/neglected-fraud-and-abuse-nursing-homes-florida/542609002/”

    “There’s a game that’s played, that if you don’t sue the right entities, your family is out of luck,” Edwards said. “You have to then start trying to chase the money.”

    In 2014, Florida lawmakers put a roadblock in that pursuit when Gov. Rick Scott signed a law that shielded “passive investors” from being named as defendants in nursing home negligence lawsuits.

    The Florida Health Care Association praised the measure, saying it “will bring fairness to the Florida court system and preserve investment in Florida’s nursing homes.”

    And I Bet Gov. Rick Scott Got a pocket full of Cash for his part.
    And I bet Gov. Rick Scott Got a Pocket Full Of Cash for his Part.

    “https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/special-reports/2018/05/31/floridas-largest-nursing-home-owner-part-growing-national-trend/581511002/”

    I would Bet my life on it That a whole lot of Politicians are invested in this Company.
    Nothing but a bunch of Criminals running the Show, Rotten GREEDY BASTARDS.

  2. No words aside from the VA needs to be BANNED FROM WORLD CLASS CRASS ASSHOLES MEDICAL CARE!!

    Yep, fuck-off VA! Your indifference sickens me, literally.

  3. The only reason this story is the topic today, is because this gentleman is a veteran.

    To any degree you can imagine, there are terrible care stories out of many nursing homes throughout this country. Yes, yes there are all of the usual excuses about pay scales and staff shortages and such but, ultimately the care of the patient lies squarely upon the family and close friends of the resident.

    Someone was caring for and seeing to the every day needs of the resident before they entered care; why stop visiting and doing for loved ones now? Mr. Spratling could not possibly end up in his final situation without his kin’s lack of concern during his time in care. This type of tragic outcome is especially prone to happen with patients that can not communicate what they need and/or incontinent patients.

    IMO, too often folks think that “the home” will see to each and every need of all of the residents, all of the time and by golly that’s what they are paying for! WRONG! Today’s society, just warehouses the relative in the home, and rushes headlong into getting all busy with finally being able to live their lives unencumbered by the patient. There are many ways a thinking, loving family can contribute to the happiness and well being of persons in care, making this type of outcome a “not ever gonna happen to mine” priority. Constant and unpredictable pop-in visits by family and friends, especially with non-communicating patients is an absolute must.

    Anyone that has spent more than two bedfast days in a hospital, can understand how frustrating and stressful that time is without visitors, or at the very least a phone call.

    • Only a story because he was a veteran of course this site about veterans. What about veterans or other nursing home patients who do not have family members and how many families will examine the patients genital are when they visit.

      Seems Americans have become uncaring for others. Not so long ago, people really cared about each other.

      We can not blame family for what others are entrusted to provide and being paid for.

    • Not enough info to pass too much judgement on the family alone. And too many side issues to consider also. All the issues with medical care today is the fault of universities and their brands of bed-side manners to not giving a real damn about patients… not getting emotionally involved or overly concerned. To the scum in DC and those other various “professionals.”

      Side issues with nursing homes, VA, to ICU death floors, etc.
      1. Keeping patients so drugged up they are totally compliant and cannot communicate any issues.

      2. Keeping family and friends out of the picture once complaints are mentioned. By MD orders do not allow the patient to be upset or have visitation, etc. Oh, and don’t allow any recordings.

      3. Social workers and others who are immune from any form of prosecution not doing their damn jobs or more concerned about the state coming in for the properties of the dying or dead like vultures. If they patients have anything left after modern health care practices and costs, or over inflated charges, Medicaid types, etc. But the state will do their best to recoup any monies they can, any way they can. Patients best interest be damned.

      4. If the patient has a DNR on record no real attention or care will be given the patient unless they are filthy rich, in a fancy nursing facility with cameras, and/or a feel good story for the Hallmark channel. Other-wise they are pushed into a private room to let lie in their own filth until dead or some fed-up person waiting to see said patient disobeys hospital rules and walks in to see some truth and reality. Then become a enemy of many trying to report these kinds of daily realities as staff smile and gossip their happy days away… and attack their newest enemies of truth.

      5. Bottom feeding scum media and reporters that will not report on the myriad of issues out there. Along with the same old issues of pissing off family members/associations/med boards/the state and others who may work in those places of pure evil and disconcern. And the fear people have now days of reporting some issue that may bring the establishment and corrupt down on their heads for more problems. No, it’s best now days to let it all just slide by and stay silent. Now imagine what is happening in states like Indiana and others where there is practically a total black-out on any negative news getting out? Gotta put up the grand facade of fairy tale living in a perfect place.

      6. All the politicians and med boards and the long list of others that allow this stuff to continue on. Or that after complaints are made go out and do a photo-op for the killers and slime doing their dirty deeds.

      7. Family and those who are too afraid to get their hands dirty or check things out. Public that’s been so sanitized and separated from realities of life, death, or dealing with illnesses would rather remain ignorant or think others should or can handle what they are too good to do or afraid to get involved with. They may smell shit or rot but choose not to pull the sheets down for a look but would rather just make the visit short and walk away holding their noses. Oh and don’t piss off the staff because it may make things worse for the already starving patient to get their so-called high weight tolerances down. And never mind that head dope and catheters that may be causing infections to severe constipation issues leading to death and misery. Be sure to dig through the goodies or steal computers the patient may have. Plus with all the hate and division in this country too? To attack the elderly and feeble or the whistle-blowers, complainers. And on it goes.

      This country make me sick.

  4. This is why when elderly veterans take their lives they should compete for how many VA employees souls they can bring with them.

    Current champion is Albert Wong, God rest his beautiful, brave and magnificent soul.

  5. Believe it or not, on channel 27.4 “GRIT TV”, there’s a commercial, (class action suit), concerning this very subject.
    It has to do with a specific medication which will cause the patient to have a “genital amputation”!
    (Sorry, I can’t remember the medicine name!)
    I’m not saying this was the cause. It just seems coincidental!
    Maybe y’all will see the commercial!

    • Invokana, which is a sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitor has been linked to Fournier’s Gangrene.

      Fournier’s gangrene is a sometimes life-threatening form of necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating Bacteria) that affects the genital, perineal, or perianal regions of the body

      • I’m not sure if the VA in your area prescribe invokana because the VA clinic I use doesn’t, so unless it was prescribed outside the VA that’s about the only way to get it from a doctor

  6. The very first privatization of the VA. So many just love it. They cannot believe it is “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” More fraud. More malpractice. All engineered by the privatization fraudsters. Contracts that the executives disappear with the money.
    Health Net has disappeared. Spent two hours on the phone with VA Officers yesterday trying to work out a settlement on my claim just for reimbursement of the Choice Bill I paid to protect my FICO score. $2,150.00. Waiting until January 5 to file in Federal Claims Court so others can join on my $400.00 filing fee which will make my claim $2,550.00. Email “[email protected]” if you have unpaid Choice bills affecting your credit or if your provider wants to join in the effort. Check and make sure your provider is being paid.

  7. this happens to non vets all the time. My mother was shoveled around to a number of different nursing home. She had fast developing dementia and my wife and I had little knowledge as to rules, laws and procedures when it comes to what nursing home were allowed to do. She had no ability to communicate yet an eye Dr. managed to prescribe her a set of glasses which medicare paid for to the tune of $700+
    Supposedly she fell out of bed and broke her hip which was repaired but for an old person that is mostly a death sentence. She passed away 3 days later. So I did some checking and found that the majority of the employees were paid a substandard salary, so by stealing from patients they got by. My mother had some jewelry that was never found and one of the fellows that worked there drove her to the bank to withdraw some money fairly regularly. Even though I visited my Mother several times a week, she could not communicate with me because of her condition. The people working at those type of nursing homes know just how to take advantage of the residents.

  8. That’s why the family care act is so important, allowing veterans to stay at home.

    Family care act includes traumatic brain injury. I asked a dav officer about this and he told me as long as you can dress yourself the va will deny the veterans the family care act.

    That is not what I read and I believe people like this dav officer is spreading disinformation to veterans.

    Maybe Ben can do another article on the family care act and the eligibility.

  9. Off topic, The Toxic Culture at the Roseburg VA in Oregon is still exists. Roseburg VA Director Dave Whitmer (returning to Florida 12/21) has publicly attacked this veterans advocate at a Dec. 4th VA townhall meeting (after I published letter to editor about lung cancer screening for vets) and in emails which he sent to Senator Merkley’s Vet Rep Joel Corcoran and others before and after the town hall.
    Unable to stop himself he continued his attack in a text message he sent me. In a three way call with Mr. Corcoranand DAV State Representative Glenn Turner, Mr. Corcoran’s first question to me was “do you have an attorney?” This is the one of the reasons for the legal consult I just requested from Ben.

    I will post here, Mr. Turner’s letter to the editor published December 12th in the local Curry Coastal Pilot Newspaper

    Whitewash Job

    Jane Stebbins reporting of the Dec. 4 VA town hall meeting was very one sided. Nothing was written about the shortcomings brought up at the meeting by veterans. It seems to some of us veterans to be a whitewash job. The failure of the Roseburg VA to provide lung cancer screening to veterans and VA Director (David) Whitmer’s promise to do so, repeated again at this town hall was not mentioned. Also not mentioned was Whitmer’s promise to allow Veterans to have MRIs performed locally on a state of the art machine at Curry Medical Center rather than have to drive to Roseburg to have these studies performed on outdated equipment.

    Whitmer disrespected/attacked one Veterans advocate at the town hall and totally ignored a Vietnam veterans wife’s pleas for help with medical bills the VA was not paying and had been sent to collection while her husband was receiving hospice care at home. Total disrespect. Stebbins again has demonstrated her under reporting of issues important to veterans raised at these town hall meetings. Glenn Turner

    Since May, I’ve had numerous meetings with Whitmer at his request. He has called me several times. He first invited me by email to address Roseburg VA Problems. Per his request I held Email Town Hall Meetings with Mr. Whitmer in the presence of others (which include Joel Corcoran, other Veterans advocates and local reporter Jane Stebbins).

    Many of the systemic problems I’ve addressed with Whitmer would be fitting to be addressed on this website such as: Lung Cancer Screening for Veterans using Low Dose CT scans. (Google Bay Pines Florida VA using low dose CT and saving veterans lives) Not mentioned in the news article about Bay Pines Florida VA is that besides smoking, Veterans exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides, asbestos, burn pits, depleted uranium, etc. should also have lung cancer screening made available to them to detect these cancers early when lung cancer is treatable.

    Roseburg Director Whitmer’s attacks demonstrate that the “Toxic Culture” created by Director Paxton still exists in the Roseburg VA’s Director’s office which Whitmer was sent to Roseburg to correct. In his final days here, Whitmer has decided to send the message to Veterans that if you speak out you will be attacked.

    As one veteran stated “Whitmer was sent to Roseburg to spit shine a turd.” And that is exactly what he has done.

    Mike Berns

  10. you can call this case negligent or what ever, York Spratling is still dead. What his military service could not accomplish, a few low paid non caring people did.

  11. Gross violation by DVA of America’s moral obligation to care for her defenders comes to roost in the crotch of a Veteran. Rest in peace brother.
    This is parallel to the crotch condition caused by DVA’s scam settlement plan at VA,WLA.
    Now, that 1888 deeded beachfront property, that was never delivered, has been discovered the “stench” from Brentwood School and UCLA baseball stadium is really thick.
    “EXIT STRATEGY”

  12. The prospect of a drug fueled and bed-soaked existence in a nursing home drives me to prayer for:
    1). A swift death from natural causes (ticker or brain gasket). Absent this blessing:
    2). Memory of the combination of my gun safe.
    3). Motor skills that would enable opening the gun safe
    4). Mobility to take it outside.
    5). Understanding and forgiveness.

  13. From what I read I believe there’s more of a paper trail involved, 1st why was this Veteran being transferred, 2 how was he transferred by previous facility ambulance, 3rd if this was an outside ambulance service wouldn’t the tending EMT had smelled the same thing as the previous facility, 4th did the previous facility fail this Veteran as far as hygiene, care, and providing this Veteran the up most respect and consideration for his well being and care so it was easier to transfer him out and put the burden on the other facility, an investigation should be conducted and people responsible should be sued and their license be pulled from them and never allow them to do this to anyone again

    • And more, because they will never have their license revoked and if they do they will come into licensing under a different name. After Suing them and giving HUGE NEWS COVERAGE OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED, EACH RESPONSIBLE MEMBER SHOULD BE TAKEN OUT INTO THE SWAMP AND FED TO THE ALLIGATORS. ONLY FEAR MOTIVATES THESE LOW LEVEL ‘HUMAN BEINGS’ , (INCLUDING THE EXECUTIVES IN CHARGE), TO “DO DA RIGHT THING………………

  14. Death and misery to all VA and nursing care scum. VSO scum included. May they all contract aids and die a slow, horrible death surrounded by people they hurt so it won’t go easy.

    Fucking cocksuckers.

  15. It’s beginning to look a lot like the zombie apocalypse– it’s starting at the VAMC’s nationwide with the staff at these places acting like Zombies killing the Veterans. And that’s just the beginning of it, it’s going to spread like the RED TIDE across America which will then be a country known as Schlobonia or some other Hemingway-like construction.
    Can all you guys agree , you don’t want the VA to mess up your genitals, your brains or any other part of your being? You know the only people left in this country that have any BALLS is We, Veterans. When the Zombies start charging my front door , I can tell you this; I’m not going to jail for whacking them…

  16. 12/21/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Recently [this week], I am dealing with post-surgery, and understanding the responsibilities of nurses , procedures, and treatment.

    A 84 year old needs a veteran nurse; however my first year nurse did a better job than my girlfriend [10 years of Care Giving] —-looking at the incision site and the rebandage.

    Some people are gifted and some are not.

    It is the VA responsibility to have the right people in the right position.

    This is obviously a failure.

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

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