Wall of Shame, 1st edition: Rainbow Beach, Unexpected Pregnancy in the Nursing Home

A new addition to our categories on Nursing Home Pro – The Wall of Shame – to highlight some of the less fortunate events we deal with.  Hopefully, we can learn from the mistakes of others so the same things don’t happen to us.

This is an article taken from the Chicago Sun Times

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/2761924,lawsuit-rainbow-beach-nursing-center-093010.article

I would hate to be in their shoes right now.  Read the article below:

Woman sues nursing home after patient impregnates sister

Nursing home continued administering schizoprehnic medication despite pregnancy


September 30, 2010

BY LISA DONOVAN Cook County Reporter ldonovan@suntimes.com

Each Saturday, Ingrid Williamson’s family would visit her at the South Side nursing home where she lives.

It was summer 2003 when they noticed her growing belly.

She had been at Rainbow Beach Nursing Center since 2001, a place where her debilitating schizophrenia — which could sometimes make her violent — could be monitored, Williamson’s sister believed.

But in June, July and August of 2003, Shaune Williamson Ofori-Amanfo’s weekly visits left her wondering about her sister’s changing body.

“We would visit her every Saturday and think ‘wow her stomach is getting really big,’” her sister recalled of those summer 2003 visits. “We asked [nursing home staff] and they told us ‘oh it’s just the medications that are making her puffy.’ My husband said ‘she’s pregnant.’”

He was right. A home  pregnancy test in August and a follow-up visit to the doctor determined she was 5 1/2 months pregnant, the father believed to be another patient suffering from mental illness though a test hasn’t been done to confirm it.

Williamson, now 54, gave birth to a baby boy the following January.

Now Williamson Ofori-Amanfo, who became her sister’s and now-6-year-old nephew’s legal guardian earlier this year, is suing the nursing home for negligence.

“These facilities accept responsibility for caring for people who aren’t capable of making life decisions. They accept the responsibility of giving them food, of cleaning their clothes and, to some extent, their comings and goings,” said Williamson Ofori-Amanfo.

She recalls asking a nursing home supervisor: “Why are you letting these people have sex?”

Williamson Ofori-Amanfo recalls staff telling her the patients have a right to engage in sexual relations.

“We [family members] said, “OK, then why don’t you give them birth control?”

“They’re allowing them to [have sex]  with complete disregard for the consequences.

“I guess it’s their right to have sex, consequences be damned.”

In addition, Williamson’s family alleges the nursing home didn’t provide pre-natal care and medication and continued to give her psychotropic drugs to treat the schizophrenia for the next 3 months — even though family asked that staff stop administering for fear it could hurt the fetus.

Today, the boy suffers from autism and is developmentally delayed, Williamson Ofori-Amanfo said.

A spokesman for the nursing home said it was owned by a different company at the time of the alleged incident and declined comment.

In suing the nursing home, the family is seeking at least $50,000 in damages, attorney Michael Gravlin said.

“She shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place,” Gravlin said, placing the blame squarely on the nursing home. “Now she’s got a son who’s got to be provided for.”

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