HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – A new video shows the conditions inside of a Hollywood nursing home that was closed after the deaths of eight patients.
The video was given to 7News by a woman whose parents survived the heat, and like many other family members, she is outraged at the recent events which took place.
“My sister sent me the video just to let me know how the condition is at that time,” said Carmen Veroy. “Why didn’t they do something?”
The video showed residents Gabriel and Libia Giraldo inside the hot building, with fans being used in an attempt to cool them down.
“‘Mucho calor,’ [my sister] says in Spanish, ‘Mucho calor.’ She write in the message, ‘Mucho calor,’” said Veroy.
The video was reportedly taken Tuesday, at around 8 p.m., the day before the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills was evacuated.
The once trusted facility is now the scene of a criminal investigation after, police said, the conditions inside led to the deaths of the eight residents, and the evacuation of 145 others.
“There were a number of very, very sick people in there. Visually, you could see that they were sick,” said Dr. Randy Katz, medical director of emergency services at Memorial Regional Hospital.
The center’s administrators said in a statement, “Staff set up mobile cooling units and fans to cool the facility. Our staff continually checked on our residents’ well-being — our most important concern — to ensure they were hydrated and as comfortable as possible.”
But state health officials sounded off, Friday, and said it was the center’s responsibility to save lives.
In a statement, officials said, “Let’s be clear — this facility is located across the street from one of Florida’s largest hospitals, which never lost power and had fully operating facilities. The tragic and senseless loss at Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center is the subject of a criminal homicide investigation by law enforcement.”
Gabriel and Libia, both 89 years old, have been married for 67 years.
Gabriel was one of the patients taken to the hospital. “My father get to the hospital with 102 in fever and unconscious, and he have a UTI infection,” said Carmen Veroy.
Another image from the facility shows a naked woman hunched over and sitting on a gurney and another woman sitting in a wheelchair with her head between her legs with a nurse nearby.
Veroy said she was told the hunched over woman did not make it.
The governor’s office said the Health Department contacted the center on Monday after Hurricane Irma and told the center to call 911 if the residents were in danger.
Although many questions about the incident remain unanswered, authorities are working to build a timeline as to how everything unfolded.
Hollywood Police also went into the facility with a search warrant, but it’s unclear if any charges will be filed.
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