Family members critical of care at Suffolk nursing homes form support group


SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side’s coverage of a Suffolk nursing home has led several people to form a support group. They have one thing in common: their loved ones died after they were residents at Autumn Care of Suffolk. They say they deserved to know what kind of treatment their loved ones received.

Edith Ramey, 73, had a seizure in July, went to a local hospital, then went to Autumn Care for rehabilitation.

“My mom went in there and she was walking, she was talking, and she was eating,” said her daughter Tammy Mizelle.

And then, she was dying.

Mizelle says the staff at Autumn Care wouldn’t give the family information about her status.

“We talked with the nurses [and they responded] ‘We can’t tell you what medicine she’s on.’ Well, it’s my mother, yes you can tell me what kind of medicine she’s on.”

Ramey had a colon infection when she arrived at Autumn Care. Mizelle says because of the lack of communication, she’s not sure to this day whether the infection was treated. She says in three weeks, her mother’s condition went rapidly downhill, as she lost circulation in her feet and her fingers turned black.

Mizelle shared a picture of her mother lying on the floor of her room at the foot of her bed.

“They didn’t pick her up and put her in the bed, they just wrapped her up.”

Mizelle is now part of a support group with other people 10 On Your Side has spoken to in other reports, whose loved ones died after a stay at Autumn Care. They say a lack of communication and proper care made their sorrow even worse.

“I want to see the facility turned around or completely shut down. It’s gotten really, really bad since my dad was there,” said Yvonne Whitley, whose father, Franklin, died of COVID-19 after a stay at Autumn Care earlier this year.

Whitley organized the support group, plans to meet regularly and expects the group to grow.

Autumn Care is owned by Cleveland-based Saber Healthcare. They responded to our past stories with statements from their legal team that they do provide proper care, and do keep families informed. We will update this story with any new response.

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