Hidden cameras reportedly caught a dying World War II veteran gasp for air and cry out for help—all while nurses laughed mere inches away.
The footage obtained by WXIA allegedly captured a 2014 incident at Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation involving James Dempsey, 89. The video begins with Dempsey calling out for help at least six times and struggling to breathe.
“Help me! Help me! I can’t breathe!” he can be heard crying.
A taped deposition indicated that a call light was activated early on in the incident. When a nurse arrived, however, she can be seen in the video merely repositioning the distressed man in his bed and leaving.
Ex-nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles and another nurse are then seen arriving in the room to tend to Dempsey—who is unresponsive by that time. Nuckles testified that she entered the room and immediately performed CPR until EMTs arrived.
The tape shows nothing of the sort. Instead, a nurse is seen fumbling with an oxygen tank before she and two coworkers erupt in laughter. Nuckles was also caught giving the dying man only six chest compressions before stopping.
“Ma’am, was there something funny that was happening?” Mike Prieto, the family’s attorney, asked Nuckles during the deposition.
“I can’t even remember all that as you can see,” she responded.
WXIA noted that it took an hour for someone to call 911 after they discovered Dempsey unresponsive.
Dempsey’s family accepted a settlement with the Georgia facility for an undisclosed amount, according to the local station.
Sava Senior Care, the company that runs the facility, said they were “saddened by the events, which occurred more than three years ago.”
Inspection reports revealed, however, that the facility was made aware of the damning footage in November 2015 but waited 10 months to fire the nurses involved in the incident.
Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation remains open despite receiving at least two dozen health and safety violations following Dempsey’s death. The facility reportedly has a one-star rating from Medicare and has been fined more than $813,113 since 2015.
[Featured Image: James Dempsey and Wanda Nuckles/WXIA video screenshot]