A DRE Investigation – Infected Bedsore causes weightloss, fever and eventual death in Illinois Nursing Home
In January 1981, Donna grew sick. Her bedsore became infected, as it had many times at Dixon, but this time the infection got out of control. On January 16, early in the evening, an admitting clerk from Louis Weiss Memorial Hospital called Donna’s parents, Donald and Marylyn, to ask for Donna’s social security number, saying Donna might be admitted the next day. Mrs. Sonnenberg told us that she then called Mill View to find out what was wrong with her daughter, but the switchboard operator could get no answer from Donna’s floor, the second. The next morning, Saturday January 17, Mrs. Sonnenberg called Mill View again; again the operator could get no answer anywhere in the building. She then called Weiss and was told there was no bed available so Donna wouldn’t be admitted yet. She pleaded for them to admit Donna, though Mrs. Sonnenberg didn’t know what was wrong with her daughter. At about 11 am she called Mill View once more but again got no answer from the second floor. Some time later, a Weiss admissions worker told Mrs. Sonnenberg that Donna would be admitted at 3 pm. At 4 that afternoon she got through to Donna’s room at Weiss. Donna answered the phone but could hardly speak. Mrs. Sonnenberg then telephoned the nursing station and asked the nurses to go to Donna’s room as something was wrong. They responded, “But we were just in there. Everything’s okay.” She told them something must be wrong: Donna couldn’t talk. They told her that Donna didn’t know how to talk; apparently a Mill View worker had told them so. Weiss staff had also been told that Donna had no family.