AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF) – Family members continue asking questions after their loved ones contracted COVID-19 at a local personal care home.
As we have reported, 75 residents at Windermere Health and Rehabilitation center tested positive for COVID-19.
Four residents have died.
One man tells NewsChannel Six’s Dee Griffin his family didn’t even know his mother was sick.
“Me, my girl we came up here. She was just in the hallway. We were talking and laughing because we brought her some clothes,” Clifton Binnon explains.
The Augusta man says it was supposed to be a temporary stay for his mother Jeannie Mae Jackson.
She was admitted into Windermere for rehabilitation of her joints.
“She came for her joints and bones, for her to eat again and walk.”
Binnon says video of his mother in Windermere shows her progress and made family feel she was moving in the right direction.
He reflects, “Well, at the time she was doing already because she was doing her therapy. Then, all of a sudden, that’s when we seen it on Facebook about the virus or whatever here.”
According to a spokesperson for Savaseniorcare, which is Windermere’s parent company, COVID-19 was discovered in a patient on Tuesday April 7th.
A patient was transported to a hospital that day.
Then, all residents were tested and families notified on Thursday April 9th.
But, Clifton Binnon says he and his family learned of the outbreak through social media at least a day later.
He says, “we contacted them and they wouldn’t answer the phones. I googled the home office. Got their number. I called them. They were like ‘we’re reaching out to families now.’ Nobody reached out to us.”
Binnion says he and his brother reached out to their mother.
“We talked to her on the phone. She was fine that morning. Later on that night, the Doctor called my brother and said she was at the hospital.”
It would be the last time they heard her voice.
The next morning, a call they never expected.
“When I was watching it on the live feed I just started crying. I broke down I can hear my brother saying, ‘she’s trying to move her lips.’ The next thing I heard the nurse says ‘she’s gone.'”
Now, the family that was preparing to welcome their mother home after rehab, is preparing to say goodbye at her funeral.
“It makes me feel like we paid y’all to kill our parent,” Binnon laments.
NewsChannel 6’s Dee Griffin contacted the spokesperson for Windermere’s parent company about the protocol for notifying families regarding testing residents and notification of results.
She is still waiting for an answer.