A Southern California family is suing a medical center for elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death, after alleging they found their mother in disturbing, unsanitary conditions, including maggots in her body, when she was being treated for Covid-19.
Concepcion Covarrubias, 65, was admitted to South Coast Global Medical Center in Santa Ana On July 7, 2020, after contracting Covid-19.
“I never thought taking her there would be the last day I would see her alive and well,” Carolina Mijango, daughter of Covarrubias, told NBC Los Angeles. The family shared video of their mother at the facility.
She had a history of diabetes and other conditions, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by NBC News.
After Covarrubias’ admission, her family then began routine check-ins via FaceTime. They say they noticed her condition progressively worsened over time.
Covarrubias’s family were able to visit her in person after weeks of hospitalization as she recovered from Covid, NBC Los Angeles reports.
According to the lawsuit, Carolina’s brother, Manuel, saw movement in their mother’s nose and found maggots upon closer inspection.
“He picks from her nose. He gets a maggot,” Mijango told NBC Los Angeles. “Then he sees more maggots, coming out of her nose. That’s when basically, it was devastating.”
Some of their claims include a nasogastric tube that failed to be cleansed, skipped diabetes treatments in direct violation of doctor’s orders, an unclean room and the failure to remove the maggots from their mother’s nose, according to the court documents.
The family alleges the hospital was understaffed and that nurses failed to provide consistent treatment for their mother’s preventable health conditions.
Covarrubias died on Aug. 21, 2020.
The family is suing the South Coast Global Medical Center for elder abuse, negligence and wrongful death and say they have collected the maggots as evidence.
NBC News contacted the hospital’s spokesperson but they declined to comment due to pending litigation.
“They told us, it must have been a fly that basically got in her nose and left droppings there,” Mijango told NBC Los Angeles. “That lack of care killed her.”
Both parties are set to appear in court in January of 2022.
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Edwin Flores reports and produces for NBC Latino and is based in Anaheim, California.