CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s been three days since Blondina Hill’s 41-year-old cousin died in a West Side nursing home. Quinita Bullock had been living at the Mayfield Health Center since her stroke about a year ago left her with slurred speech and unable to walk.
“Hate that it had to happen to her like that,” Hill said.
Late Monday morning, after multiple unanswered calls, Bullock’s aunt and son went to check on her. They found her dead in her bed, already cold.
“And I just think that’s unbelievable that no one knew she was dead,” Hill said. “So I wonder, if my mom and her son didn’t go, like, how long would it have been before they noticed?”
Hill and others arrived and began asking questions about what happened; if Bullock ever woke up, or if she had taken her morning medication. Hill says Mayfield’s staff told her nothing.
She says she was told the staff was supposed to do checks every hour.
“We had filed a couple complaints before about her being on the floor,” she said.
Hill says police came and filled out a police report, classifying Bullock’s death non-criminal. Then she says Mayfield sent Bullock’s body to a funeral home without their consent and without notifying the medical examiner.
Hill says she wants to know the cause of death.
“I really would like to know because she was fine,” she said.
Tuesday Hill filed a complaint with the state.
No one at Mayfield would talk CBS 2, either, but the center’s past inspections note certain requirements not met regarding patient falls and safety. And ProPublica shows Mayfield had 36 deficiencies since December of 2015, but no fines.
Hill says she believe there should be an investigation.
“Because it’s going to happen to somebody else,” she said.
Bullock’s family says they’ve hired an attorney to get some answers about how she died and to look into the possibility of any neglect there. Plans for her funeral have not been made.