Updated: Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010, 6:38 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 26 Jan 2010, 6:27 PM EST
ANGOLA, Ind., (WANE) - A 46-year-old man from Auburn, Indiana says nursing home caretakers abandoned him in an Angola Emergency Room.
Last Monday, Gregory George recalls heading to a game of bingo inside Wesley Healthcare Center in Auburn , when workers allegedly grabbed him and put him in a van.
"I'm like, 'what's going on'? Nobody would say anything," George told NewsChannel 15. "They said we're taking you to Angola to the hospital for help, and I'm like, what kind of help, and nobody would say."
George ended up inside the emergency room of Cameron Memorial Community Hospital , about 20 miles away from the facility.
By Monday evening, doctors had cleared him to return home. Hospital officials contacted the nursing home to arrange the trip, but no one ever showed up.
"They were notified that he had been cleared, both physically and mentally," said Laura Lutterbeck, Director of Community Relations for Cameron Memorial Community Hospital. "We contacted them a number of times, just with unsatisfactory results. The comment was that they were no longer able to meet his needs."
George contends that his condition--and needs--have not changed. He says there was no reason for caretakers to take him to the hospital. Since the spring of 2008 when George first arrived at Wesley, he has had a permanent tracheotomy. The condition requires him to receive oxygen through a tube in his neck around the clock.
"I just can't believe a nursing home can take a patient, and simply abandon them," he said.
Due to the unusual circumstances surrounding George's visit, hospital staff had not been able to admit him as a patient as of Tuesday afternoon. Lutterbeck says he spent the week in a room that was altered for his stay.
She says, "He was not on like an emergency room gurney or anything. He had a normal patient bed, private room, and phone."
According to Lutterbeck, the week-long stay will likely be funded by Medicare and Medicaid. The programs were funding George's stay at Wesley.
George believes the nursing home may have dumped him in retaliation for his frequent complaints about television noise and privacy at the facility.
A spokesperson for Wesley refused to offer any explanation for what happened, but said the nursing home will "welcome any investigation from the proper authorities." He added the facility plans to cooperate if there is any investigation.
NewsChannel 15 has learned the case has been turned over to Adult Protective Services in Northeast Indiana.
George was expected to be taken to another hospital Tuesday afternoon, for in Marion, for an indefinite stay. He tells NewsChannel 15 he would like to return to Auburn to be closer to family and friends.
In the meantime, he says he will be speaking with lawyers about the possibility of pursuing legal action against Wesley.
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