Updated: Thursday, 28 Jan 2010, 3:46 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 10:17 PM EST
ANGOLA, Ind., (WANE) - Did people at an Auburn nursing home plot to abandon a man in an Angola hospital ER? A laid off worker from Wesley Healthcare Center says "yes".
46-year-old Gregory George was dropped off by caretakers one week ago, and never picked up . Last Monday, he recalled heading from his room for a game of bingo, 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.
The worker, who was laid off earlier this month, said he has no "axe to grind", but asked his identity by protected.
The former respiratory therapist claimed that workers at the facility had planned to get rid of George for weeks.
"I was a little shocked, but not overly surprised," he said. "It was pre-planned, it was planned clear back in at least December, that they were going to dump him the next time he wanted to go to the ER. The comment that was made to me was, the next time he goes to the ER, we're supposed to refuse to take him back."
George said there was no reason for caretakers to take him to the hospital. He said that his condition, and needs, have not changed. 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.
George theorized that the facility is retaliating against him for complaints that he's made about television noise and privacy.
The worker confirmed that staff were fed up with the excessive complaints.
"He called and complained about things that were either non-existent, or very petty. He created problems for them that he didn't have to created," the worker explained. "He created a lot of problems for the staff, needy little things, and if he didn't get his way about something, he would call the state."
He added, "I didn't particularly care for the guy, but you just don't treat somebody that way. There's right and there's wrong, and I feel that what they did to him was wrong."
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.
The case has been turned over to Adult Protective Services in Northeast Indiana.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health , the facility has a passing grade on its " report card ". The site said only two complaints investigated recently actually led to deficiencies being cited.
The facility has a score of 108, compared to a statewide average of 183. Scores range from 0 to 769. Scores are considered to be better the closer to zero they are.
Calls to Dennis Sutton, Wesley's corporate attorney, were not returned Wednesday.
George has been transferred to another hospital in Marion for an indefinite stay. He said he would like to return to Auburn to be closer to family and friends.
In the meantime, he said he will be speaking with lawyers about the possibility of pursuing legal action against Wesley.
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