RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Erika Kaufman believes the Canterbury Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Henrico could have done a better job in her mother’s final days.
Linda Graham, 61, passed away at the long-term care facility last week. Graham had underlying health conditions but ultimately the coronavirus claimed her life.
“She was always called a firecracker and a spit fire,” Kaufman said, describing her mom.
Kaufman told 8News people loved being around her mother. Before she became ill, Kaufman said Graham had a lot of spunk and loved to fish and to travel.
“She was a great lady,” Kaufman told 8News.
Kaufman, Graham’s only child, said she struggled with not being able to see or talk to her mother in her final hours.
“I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye to her,” she said.
Kaufman was disappointed with how the doctor at Canterbury let her know that her mother tested positive for COVID-19.
“He kind of left it on my voicemail and I really didn’t like that. Shouldn’t you tell me that over the phone rather than my voicemail,” Kaufman told 8News.
After that, Kaufman said it was impossible to get updates or to say goodbye.
“They were not answering the phone the last four days before she passed that I was trying to get a hold of her. It certainly was hard because I was the only person my mother had,” Kaufman explained.
Graham became ill in 2009 and Kaufman cared for her as long as she could. This past fall Kaufman moved her mother into Canterbury as Graham’s mobility had become very limited.
“She needed a lot of help at the end. She didn’t get the greatest care. But I also didn’t really care for the nurses and the caregivers that were taking care of her at the time. They were really rude to her,” said Kaufman.
An 8News investigation found the facility got a “much below average” rating during its last health inspection. The report noted issues with the nursing staff and a shortage of help, something that didn’t surprise Kaufman.
That last inspection was in October of 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak and the facility was under different management. Still Kaufman says, “I am sure they could have done a lot better with care than what they gave her.”
Canterbury’s medical director Dr. Jim Wright told 8News he knows families were frustrated, concerned and angry and he said they have a right to be. But he says when you’re trying to keep someone alive you’re certainly not going to pick up the phone when it rings. He told 8News you’ re going to make sure that patient is provided with all the comfort and support they need.
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