Hidden camera inside of a nursing home in Georgia shows an 89-year-old Second World War veteran calling for help multiple times while nurses allegedly failed to assist him, shortly before his death.
According to an 11Alive investigation, the event took place at Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation in 2014.
The hidden camera video, which was recently released to 11Alive, shows veteran James Dempsey yelling to nurses for assistance.
“Help me, help me… can’t breathe, help me,” Dempsey can be heard saying in the video.
11Alive wrote that the Woodstock, Ga., native called for help at least six times before becoming unconscious.
The investigation goes on to say nurses found Dempsey unresponsive at 5:28 a.m., however, it took the nursing staff nearly an hour to call 911.
Global News reached out to Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center and was told by the nursing home administrator they were not able to comment on events that took place back in 2014.
Global News also did not hear back from the facility’s legal team by the time of publication, who the nursing home administrator said he would contact.
However, a statement by nursing home operators Sava Senior Care was given to 11Alive, reading in part:
“[Sava Senior Care is] saddened by the events, which occurred more than three years ago… new leadership and the leadership team and the staff have worked very diligently to improve quality care and the quality of life for our residents… the facility recently was deficiency-free during our recent annual inspection conducted by the Georgia Department of Health on May 25, 2017.”
Global News was able to get into contact with a press secretary for the secretary of state’s office in Georgia and learned that the facility’s former nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles, who was also one of the nurses allegedly seen in the video, was no longer a licensed nurse.
“She was a licensed practical nurse but surrendered her licence in September of this year,” said Candice Broce, press secretary for Georgia’s secretary of state’s office.
On Georgia’s secretary of state website, it shows that a Wanda Nuckles officially surrendered her license to the Georgia Board of Nursing on Sept. 15.
The document from the state’s office went on to describe the events that took place “during the evening of February 26, 2014, through the morning of February 27, 2014.” On the first page of the document, it says the findings were based on Nuckles’ “sworn deposition testimony” in the case “Dempsey v. SSC Atlanta Operating Company, et. al.”
During Nuckles’ recorded deposition, which was held on Nov. 23, 2015, she can be heard speaking to Mike Prieto, the family’s attorney, about the moment she was alerted that Dempsey was unresponsive.
“From the time you came in, you took over doing chest compressions… correct?” asked Prieto in the video.
“Yes,” replied Nuckles.
“Until the time paramedics arrive, you were giving CPR continuously?” continued Prieto.
Again, Nuckles replied, “Yes.”
However, the hidden camera video shows a different set of events unfolding from what Nuckles claims.
“You came into the room at 6:23:10, correct ma’am?” Prieto asked.
“Yes,” Nuckles replied.
“And contrary to the way you testified previously, there’s no one doing CPR, is there?”
“That really wasn’t the truth, was it?”
“Sir, that was an honest mistake,” Nuckles replied.
Later on, the hidden camera footage shows the nurses laughing while having trouble getting Dempsey’s oxygen machine to work.
When Prieto asked Nuckles about the nurses laughing, she said she couldn’t remember.
According to 11Alive, Dempsey’s family declined an interview after reaching a settlement agreement with the nursing home.
The nursing home remains open.