OSDH investigating Marlow Nursing and Rehabilitation facility
MARLOW, Okla. (KSWO) - A Marlow nursing facility is under investigation by the Oklahoma State Department of Health after photos allegedly taken there surfaced on social media this week.
A former employee snapped and posted them on Facebook Sunday, saying the residents there need help.
The pictures show everything from dirty bedrooms, bathrooms and toilets to patients with open wounds and bed sores.
Tabitha Hulsey started working as a nurse at Marlow Nursing and Rehabilitation on 9th Street last June.
She said from the start, she felt like the facility was filthy and did not provide adequate care for patients, so she started taking photos to document it.
Hulsey alleges a neglectful staff that sometimes forgets to feed patients.
She felt it was her responsibility to step up and speak for the voiceless.
“A lot of them can’t do the talking for themselves. A lot of them try to and they get shut down. They don’t know how to help themselves,” Hulsey said. “They don’t know who to speak up to. These are people who are in their daily lives trying to take care of them, and if these people are threatening them or treating them bad, they may be scared to go forth to talk to them about something.”
Crystal Ross worked at the facility for several months as a nursing assistant and said it’s a family’s worst nightmare.
She quit earlier this month.
In telling one horror story, she said she watched a resident almost bleed to death after he got a new catheter.
“I went and got the nurse and I was like, ‘Well, he’s complaining that he’s got sharp pains and that he can’t urinate, that he feels like he needs to pee and she said, “Okay.’ Well, she went in there and checked. Well, blood came out,” Ross said.
Ross said the facility is severely understaffed. She would sometimes care for up to 15 people at a time all by herself.
That’s when she decided to walk away from the job.
“I stayed for so long and kept hurting myself because I thought I could make a difference and that is the only reason why I stayed,” Ross said. “I love them. They’re not just people. I love them like they’re my family.”
District 51 Representative Brad Boles’ office helped Hulsey report the conditions.
In a statement, Boles said quote, “I received some very concerning pictures and information this week regarding a local nursing home’s treatment of residents within their care in my district and my office immediately reported this information to my contact at the OK Health Department so that they can look into this issue.”
Friday, a representative for the Oklahoma State Department of Health told 7NEWS “This is a pending investigation. The OSDH is not able to provide any further comment.”
Hulsey said she was fired last month, with management telling her she’d missed too much work, but she believes it’s because she was collecting evidence.
She hopes this will encourage other families to check on loved ones who live in facilities.
“I just hope people can pay attention and pay attention to their family members that are inside of nursing homes. Go and check on them more often make sure they’re okay,” Hulsey said. “Don’t just take word for it. Go in there and see because you could most definitely be being lied to... so check up on it yourself.”
When 7NEWS reached out to Marlow Nursing and Rehabilitation, a woman told us “We don’t have comment at this time.”
You can count on us to keep you updated as the health department’s investigation continues.
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