Victim's family sues nursing home after death

April 6, 2011 4:33:03 PM PDT
There's a sad update on a story we first told you about two weeks ago -- an elderly woman who was allegedly attacked by a nursing home employee has died, not from the alleged attack, but from an infection. Now her family is suing the nursing home, saying their loved one was abused and neglected. Eyewitness News spoke with the family and tried to get a response from the nursing home. There's been no response from the nursing home, but this family is in a lot of pain, after they say the people they trusted failed to take care of their loved one.

Rosie Bartee said, "It feels like the value of a human life is devalued."

Bartee is grief stricken over the death of her 76-year-old mother, Sandra Campion. It's a death Bartee says was caused by gross negligence on the part of the Heritage Park nursing home in Katy.

She said, "You don't treat animals that way and that's the thing."

Campion died on April 3. According to her family lawsuit filed, doctors told them she contracted a massive blood infection, from a large bedsore on her back. Photos of the wound are too graphic to show on camera.

Jason Gibson, the family's attorney, explained, "They didn't turn her like they were supposed to and as a result she developed bed sores. Eventually, a wound that was 10 inches long and four inches deep became septic, and eventually caused her to lose her life."

But prosecutors say there's more. Just one month ago, Campion survived what prosecutors say was a brutal assault. They say a worker at the facility, Myrtle Lean Tillman, tried to strangle her.

Harris County Prosecutor Lisa Collins said, "He went in and saw the victim, who is a 76-year-old female, with a sweater around her neck being held there very tightly by the defendant in this case, Myrtle Tillman."

Tillman is charged with felony injury to an elderly person.

The family is suing Heritage Park for wrongful death. But they say the case is not about money, it's about justice for Campion.

"This shouldn't happen to anybody, especially the elderly, somebody that's defenseless," Bartee said.

Myrtle Tillman has not yet hired a lawyer. She posted a $5,000 bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 26.

The state of Texas is investigating the Heritage Park nursing home for both Campion's alleged assault and her death. That case is ongoing, so no details are currently available.

We contacted Heritage Park and visited their location. They declined to comment.

The funeral for Campion will be held Saturday at 1pm at the Miller Funeral Home on Beechnut.

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