CHICAGO, IL – Helen Norfleet was 96 years old when she passed away after living at nursing home facility in Salem, Oregon. According to her death certificate, she died from pleural effusion, renal failure, pneumonia, failure to thrive, dementia, osteomyelitis on the left foot, among several other factors.
“My nanny was everything,” granddaughter Julie Parsons said.
The months before Norfleet passed away stands out the most to her granddaughter. Parsons visited her grandmother every day at Raleigh Court Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Parsons mentioned Raleigh Court actually worked well for her family until March 2020. “March 13 [to be exact], that was the last time I was allowed in that facility to see my grandmother,” said Parsons.
Parsons visits began happening through a window or computer screen. That’s when she slowly began to watch her grandmother’s hygiene decline.
“Her hair would be so greasy it looked wet,” Parsons described.
Parsons grandmother tested positive for COVID-19 at the beginning of September. According to her caregivers, she was asymptomatic and was doing well. One day later, Parsons called the facility to check on her grandmother when she was told Norfleet had fallen out of her bed, resulting in severe bruising on her face.
On October 4, Parsons got a call that her grandmother had a wound on two of her toes.
Three weeks later on October 21, Parsons was told the wound had worsened to the point that amputation was necessary. That night, Norfleet was taken to Lewis Gale and Parsons was able to see her grandmother for the first time since March.
Parsons recalled when the doctor came in and removed the bandage from Norfleet’s foot, she collapsed. “It was the most horrible, disgusting thing I had ever seen in my life. My grandmother’s toes had gotten so bad, and so infected that the bone was exposed,” Parsons said.
After Norfleet had her amputation, she stayed in the hospital a little over a week. During this time, Parsons recognized bruising all over her grandmother’s arms and chest.
On October 30, Parsons filed a police report which resulted in an affidavit that’s for a search warrant for Norfleet’s medical records at Raleigh Court Health and Rehab.
Three days later, Norfleet was discharged and taken to a different facility. Only three days later, Parsons got a call that her grandmother was not doing well.
“She was not herself. She told me that night she was dying,” Parsons recalls. “[She] fell asleep on November 20th, she went to heaven.”
Parsons told WDBJ7 the only peace she has is knowing that her grandmother is no longer suffering. Parsons promised her grandmother that she would get justice for her and the other victims of abuse and neglect.
Parsons is currently waiting to see if the commonwealth’s attorney for Roanoke City, VA will pursue criminal charges against Raleigh Court Health and Rehab.