RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) - A Raleigh nursing home is under fire after a hidden camera captured video of what appears to be a 68-year-old resident being abused by nurses.
Rebecca Knapton said her 68-year-old father, Richard Johnson, suffered a stroke in February that left him paralyzed on his left side. In March, she said she put her father’s care in the hands of Universal Healthcare of North Raleigh.
Knapton put the camera in Johnson's room after he said the nurses were abusing him.
“That video made me feel like a failure because I wasn’t there to stop it,” Knapton said. “I was thinking he was telling me tall tales, and the next day he goes, 'I need you to get a camera and catch these girls,'” Knapton said.
So she did, but nothing could prepare her for what she captured. She calls it ‘the nightmare.’
“I just started shaking and crying,” Knapton said. “I could not believe what I was seeing.”
Knapton shared the video with CBS 17. It shows her father fall out of bed at around 4:22 a.m. and repeatedly call for help. At 5:21 a.m., a person is seen coming into the room. Said person leaves, and at 5:33 a.m., several employees come into the room. Instead of helping Johnson, they can be heard questioning him.
They asked, “What are you doing there?” “What are you doing on the floor?”
“I need help,” replied Johnson.
Knapton’s father said he needed help, and he fell out of bed because he had to use the bathroom and had an accident. On the recording, one of the employees can he heard scolding him.
“You had to do something very wrong with your life,” the employee said on the recording. “What did you do? You’re suffering so bad, so you’ve done something wrong. Yes, you did.”
Johnson is helped up at 5:41 a.m.
An employee can then be heard saying, “How old are you? One? You’re supposed to be enjoying your retirement. Instead, look what you are doing — pooping on yourself. Shame on you.”
A staff member is seen pulling a pillow out from under Knapton’s fathers head and says, “Shame on you.”
“The first thing that came out of my mouth was actually, ‘You can’t say that!’ And then it just dawned on me. It clicked what I was watching and what happened was anger. Just pure anger started coursing through me.”
Knapton filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services. Documents show the state later determined there was evidence to substantiate that Johnson and other patients were abused or neglected, their rights and grievances were ignored, and families were not notified of falls or injuries.
Universal Health Care of North Raleigh sent CBS 17 a statement it reads in part:
There have been times in the past where we have been less than perfect. The administrator in charge of the facility at the time of this incident is no longer with the company, and the two staff members involved in the matter were terminated. There is absolutely no room for anyone in our facility who does not value and respect the very people who depend on us for care."
We recently hired Loie Leopardi to lead the day-to-day operations of our facility. Loie has more than 26 years of experience in leadership positions at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. We also have a new regional management team to help manage and support our facilities. As part of this effort, we recently updated and improved our processes and procedures for delivering care.. Our staff works diligently to ensure that we are in compliance with federal guidelines, and we have always taken immediate action to correct any issues that are identified in our yearly surveys.All of our patients deserve to live in a healthy, respectful, and compassionate environment that is supportive of all aspects of wellness, including individual medical, rehabilitative, and emotional needs.
Knapton said she plans to take legal action against Universal Healthcare and the employees involved.
Knapton said her father is now in WakeMed, recovering from a respiratory infection. She wants to bring him home when he's healed.
She started a GoFundMe page to raise money to make her home handicap accessible.