Bronx family outraged by care grandmother received at Throgs Neck rehab center

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A Bronx family is not happy with the care their grandmother received at a rehab center and nursing home in Throgs Neck and they want answers.

Elizabeth Muniz says she is outraged by the lack of care her grandmother – 92-year-old Amelia Lugo Ortiz - received during her 2 ½ month stay at Throgs Neck Rehabilitation and Nursing Center while she was recovering from a stroke.

Muniz says she visited every day, but on Oct. 28 she noticed something was wrong.

"She had this really bad cough and I could barely understand what she was saying,” she says.

Muniz says she asked nurses to do a chest X-ray, fearing pneumonia, but according to Muniz that procedure didn't happen until five days later.

"She was indeed with pneumonia and she wanted to treat her with antibiotics. Not only did she have pneumonia, she had a UTI  as well,” she says.

A urinary tract infection that Muniz believes is due to nurses not taking her grandmother to the bathroom as often as they were supposed to.

"When I questioned the nursing assistants, they would say to me that they were overwhelmed, and that they had too many patients and that they couldn't frequently take her to the bathroom,” she says. "I felt that she was not getting the medical assistance that she required."

Muniz filed a complaint with the state Department of Health. The DOH confirmed that it is reviewing that complaint. It provided a statement saying in part, “The department takes every nursing home complaint seriously and follows proper protocol to hold providers accountable."

According to the DOH website, the facility has had no complaint-related citations during the last four years.

Muniz ultimately had her grandmother transferred to Columbia Presbyterian Allen Hospital where doctors were not optimistic about her condition. Muniz says that her grandmother has recovered and despite still needing 24-hour care, is returning home Tuesday.

News 12 reached out to Throgs Neck Rehabilitation and Nursing Center multiple times and has not received a response.


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