HOUSTON – Candise Coleman lost her maternal and paternal grandmothers on the same day in a matter of just hours.
Florence Polk-Dunn, 79, and Bobbie Maiden, 78, shared a room at the Sharpview Residence and Rehabilitation Center in southwest Houston. After one got sick, she was tested for coronavirus. As a precaution, the other woman was also tested. Within a few weeks, they both died. The family is concerned that COVID-19 was the ultimate cause.
With the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions among the high-risk populations for COVID-19, nursing homes in Texas have been a point of concern. A recent report showed one-third of every known coronavirus-related death health in Texas occurred at a long-term care facility. Even more, at least one resident and staff member tested positive for the virus in 16% of the nearly 200 nursing homes. Officials have set the strictest regulations on those facilities and have shown no signs to ease up on those regulations as plans to reopen the local economy begin.
On April 7, Coleman said her mom pulled her mother, Polk-Dunn, from the nursing home amid the coronavirus concerns.
“During the first week of her being at the house, she noticed she came very lethargic. She couldn’t swallow her meds,” Coleman said.
Less than a week later, Polk-Dunn was rushed to the hospital, where she tested positive for COVID-19 on April 12. She was put on a ventilator within 24 hours. Coleman said her grandmother’s glucose levels were through the roof.
“When my mom found out, she was very upset,” Coleman said. “She contacted the nursing home to find out when they took her sugar level. One of the nurses stated that the last time it was recorded on their records was August 2019.”
Coleman believes Sharpview was not properly caring for her grandmother. This revelation prompted the family to immediately checked on Maiden, who shared a room with Polk-Dunn. Maiden was tested for COVID-19 but otherwise believed to be okay despite her underlying health conditions.
However, a few days later, both of Coleman’s grandmothers died on Saturday. Maiden passed first, and Polk-Dunn followed four hours later.
The Coleman family is unsatisfied with the care of their family members. They said they have filed a report with the Houston Health Department and are waiting on their autopsy results to determine their exact cause of death.
KPRC 2 reached out to the facility to ask about the treatment of COVID-19 patients and if there were any additional cases at the facility.
Sharpview Residence and Rehabilitation Center released this written statement:
With the current unfortunate situation that our nation is facing, our number one priority is the safety and well-being of all of our residents and staff members. The facility has and will continue to follow strict government guidelines in order to provide continued great and safe care to our residents and staff.