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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Rocky Times For Nursing Home Resident Leads To Death

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Rocky Mountain News tells the story of Manuela Beltran who died in a nursing home from starvation and dehydration after she was given almost nothing to drink or eat for nine days, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Denver. The details of this lawsuit show just how rocky life was for the deceased during 10 days in December.

From the Rocky Mountain News comes the story of Manuela Beltran who died in a nursing home from starvation and dehydration after she was given almost nothing to drink or eat for nine days, according to a lawsuit filed last week in Denver.

The details of this lawsuit show just how rocky life was for the deceased during 10 days in December.

The wrongful death suit, filed by Beltran’s two sons, Jesse Lujan and Larry Gonzalez, seeks damages for what they allege was gross negligence by Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Aurora.

“Manuela starved to death while simultaneously suffering from severe dehydration,” said attorney John Holland in the lawsuit, which was filed in Denver District Court.

Beltran, 77, who suffered from dementia, took a turn for the worse after suffering a fall in a wheelchair Dec. 20, according to the lawsuit. Staff members knew Beltran tended to fall forward when she did not have a walker to prevent it, the lawsuit said.

“Left unsupervised in the TV room and negligently placed in a chair not suitable for her protection, Manuela predictably fell forward, sustaining severe head injuries, which sent her on a fatal, final downward spiral, which the facility staff knew all about but outrageously failed to intervene,” the lawsuit alleges.

Beltran’s ability to eat and drink immediately began to decline, the lawsuit said, and she didn’t eat anything from Dec. 23 to Dec. 30, when she died.

The health department cited the nursing home on Jan. 1 for three violations related to Beltran’s care, including failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent an accident, failure to assess and treat a change in a resident’s condition, and failure to prevent a severe weight loss.

Weighing only 89 pounds to begin with, Beltran lost nine pounds from Dec. 16 to Dec. 26, the last time she was weighed, the lawsuit said. The staff failed to inform the family or her doctor of Beltran’s “drastic” change in status, the lawsuit alleges. A doctor wasn’t notified until Dec. 29 when a hospice evaluation was ordered, according to the health department records.