Esther Brown's son and their family pastor walked into the room and found her in a frail and helpless state, with no one to help.
The gut-wrenching photographs of one Esther Brown have been going viral across social media platforms, and one look at them will leave you in shock. The photographs, that were shared on Facebook, depicted the 80-year-old resident of a nursing home slumped forward with her face down on a pillow, "gasping for breath and strangling on her own saliva" according to her son, who had found her in the condition.
Esther was a resident of the Altercare of Nobles Pond in Canton, and it was her son, James Brown and their family pastor, Julia Wiggins who found her in that frail and helpless state, according to the Daily Mail. What pained everyone to see the dark possibilities that could come with putting an elderly loved one in a nursing home. Because although you might want the best for your family, you can't always be sure of how well they're taken care of, or if there could be an unintended slip-up.
When both James and Julia had gone over to the nursing home, they were told that Esther was moved to a private room, and when they stepped into the room, they noticed a distressed elderly woman in the corner of the nurses station. James was utterly shocked and horrified when he recognized who the woman was, his own mother, Esther. Not only was she found slumped into her pillow, but they also reported that they found the elderly woman struggling to breathe and choking on her own saliva.
Julia wrote in her Facebook post:
"her son began to cry out that's my momma and we hurried to her and upon hearing her son's voice she tried with all her might to raise her head!"
As they rushed to help her out, the two of them called out for help. According to the post, it was a matter of 10 minutes before somebody at the nursing home finally came to help them out. If help arrived any later, or worse, if the two of them had not walked into the room at the right time, they feared that Esther may not have made it.
The two of them were absolutely upset, and Julia shared her concerns about nursing homes on Facebook, saying, "I was able to capture two pictures to share with you so you would know, never to leave your loved ones in the care of people who are only on the job for a paycheck!!!!"
Julia wanted to make sure that people started being cautious about their loved ones at nursing homes and that was the intention of her writing the post in the first place. “People please keep a close check on any of your loved ones if they are in these places, if you don’t, you might be preparing for a home going service before you were ready to do one,” she wrote.
“I did call the Executive Director Saturday night and she finally got back to me later Monday afternoon. I’d hope this post goes viral so others will be aware of the maltreatment going on in these over priced nursing facilities!!!!!” she elaborated in the post. Although Altercare of Nobles Pond is considered to be one of the best in the area, nobody would have expected something like this to happen there.
And not too long after the pictures were uploaded, the post did go viral. A number of comments showed how many people could relate to the experience. People were enraged when they saw what happened to Esther and shared instances from their own lives.
Carolyn Neal, who claimed that she was a former employee at a nursing home like this spoke about this was one of the reasons why she decided to quite, as she wrote in her comment:
"As a former employee of one of these facilities, I know that far too much of this type of treatment does happen. People who try to care for the people find it impossible to do their job because. It is impossible to do the job the way it should be done. It is purposely made that way to keep expenses down. If you care about people the coworkers dog you out and make you do their work too because they are lazy and don't care. I quit because it was heartbreaking."
Beverly Laubert, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman with the Ohio Department of Aging, spoke to Cleveland 19 News and described the event as “very disturbing” and “worthy of an investigation.” And investigations are underway.
The nursing home, Altercare of Nobles Pond, also released a statement about the incident that said, “We are in contact with her family including her son who visits daily. The resident is in no distress and remains well cared for by the Altercare of Nobles Pond team of dedicated professionals. She is comfortable and safe.”