Thursday, August 04, 2011

Nursing home dumps disabled veteran
at homeless shelter

A Tallahassee nursing home dropped off Robert MacDonnell at a homeless shelter with two plastic trash bags filled with his few belongings, a sack lunch and a month’s worth of medications.

In a manila envelope was a comb, a pocket calendar and a brief note, instructing MacDonnell on the complicated schedule of when and how much to take of 15 different medications and, if his insulin levels spiked, when to go to the emergency room. The telephone number for Brynwood Center was nowhere on the paperwork.

“My mind is completely blown that in America, a veteran would be treated like this,” said his twin sister Rosemary Rousch. “He is a combat veteran, not a sack of potatoes.”

MacDonnell suffered brain damage following a diabetes-induced coma in February.

Brynwood Center Administrator Lisa McGinley said the nursing home followed procedures and was authorized by an order from the Department of Children and Families to discharge MacDonnell.

“We always make certain all discharges are in compliance with regulatory requirements,” McGinley said. “That happened in this case.”

Rousch said the nursing home wanted MacDonnell discharged for lack of payment, an issue she says should have been resolved last month when her brother was finally approved for Medicaid.

“I’m absolutely certain if I wasn’t in the picture this would be a death sentence for him,” Rousch said. “He fell through every crack there was.”

Read the Tallahassee Democrat report here.