Wish I knew what to do.

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Shauna Gonzalez, New York

My mother, widowed by my father, a United States Airforce veteran in 1975, came for a vacation from my sister’s on April 15, 2016. She had a stroke a week later. She went to the hospital in Middletown, NY.

They promised all kinds of rehab and I was there everyday and saw very little. Dates have become all jumbled up in my head, but I am going to say eight days later, in the evening when I was not there, they brought her to Northern Riverview in Haverstraw, NY. That was about 40 minutes away from me. I found her at 6:30 a.m. with telephone cords wrapped around her and a plant on top of her. She stayed there about a week.

The morning I brought her home they called me and told me she had fallen, but was not hurt. I was threatened with if you take her home she will go with nothing you will get no help at all. The administrator told me that he would get me a bed so that I could stay and watch out for her. I don’t know if he was joking, but I did not think he was funny.

I brought her home and took care of her for about four weeks when it became apparent that I could not do right by her. She was becoming more and more agitated and more contracted everyday. I took her to the hospital where they put her in a rehab for about 30 days. They told me she could walk 30 feet with assistance. I never saw her walk 30 feet and I never saw her walk at all.

When I took her home, my son and I had to drag her body into my car. A woman watched as we struggled to get her in. I took her home again, again she was loosing weight and not doing well. I took her back to the hospital and they put her in for observation.

I told them I wanted her to go to a nursing home. They told me the only one that would take her was in Newburgh, NY, another 48 minutes away in good weather. And in a neighborhood that is one of the worst in the country. This is the way we treat our veterans’ families, very sad.

We are home again, I am still not back at work and feel very lost. I have written to everyone, but no one listens. Wish I knew what to do.

Thanks for listening.