Few things really infuriate me, but watching the fate of a World War II veteran at the hands of an incompetent and uncaring medical staff is definitely one of them.
A video highlighted by popularmilitary.com shows the heartbreaking end of 89-year-old James Dempsey, a man who served his country in the world’s most deadly war. In the video, Dempsey can be seen screaming for help as he suffocates at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation in 2014.
Though the footage is from 2014, the footage has now been released by Dempsey’s family as part of an ongoing lawsuit.
The video is of former nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles being questioned about the actions taken to help Dempsey. As the plight of Dempsey is played for her, Nuckles claims that Dempsey recieved help were proven to be false.
Dempsey screams for help six different times, saying he can’t breath. After too long a time, a nurse finally enters the room as Dempsey gasps for breath. The nurse readjusts the bed, plays with Dempsey’s oxygen tube then leaves the room, having done nothing to help.
Dempsey eventually goes unconscious and suffocates to death.
Knuckles claims that when she arrived, her fellow nurse was busy giving compressions. The supervisor claims she took over for the nurse so she could call paramedics, and would continue until the paramedics arrived.
The video shows this is a complete lie. Not only did Nuckles not begin compressions, the staff didn’t call paramedics until an hour later.
What’s more, when the nurses had trouble getting Dempsey’s oxygen machine to work, you can hear Nuckles laughing.
It’s simultaneously heartbreaking and enraging to watch a man who served his country during the nation’s greatest time of need find his end this way. This man should have been treated akin to royalty with the utmost love and care being given to him by those charged with this well being.
Instead, this hero died screaming for help, surrounded by nurses who didn’t seem to care that he was suffering, terrified, and alone.
The only conciliation is that leadership at the care center has been fired and replaced according to WXIA. However, WXIA reported that the care center has still been fined over $800,000 for various health and safety violations, some of them very serious.
Our vets deserve better than this.