Sunday, May 17, 2015

Outrage: Elderly, Sick Man Has To Dial 911 Just To Get Food To Live On

 Clarence Blackmon, an elderly cancer patient,
had to call 911 to get groceries because
 the rehab center he was at discharged him
and left him to his own devices. Assholes.  n
The following story has been presented in the media as a heartwarming story, but I'm outraged by it.

An elderly man, weak with prostate cancer, was discharged from a hospital and sent home. Great! He's recovering with the help of family and visiting nurses and plenty of follow up care from the hospital.

Just kidding!

He was dumped into the house and left to his own devices and was physically incapable of getting any food. The man got so desperate that he called 911 and asked someone there to buy him groceries.

"What i need is someone to get to the grocery store and bring me food, because I need to eat something. Whatever you can do to help. I can't do anything. I can't go anywhere. I can't get out of my damn chair," Clarence Blackmon told 911 dispatcher Marilyn Hinson, according to the Huffington Post. 

Click on this sentence to listen to the tough 911 call Blackmon placed

Luckily, the 911 operators didn't tell him that they were only for emergencies and tell him to go away. Hinson  recognized this was an emergency.  Hinson's supervisor entered Blackmon's name into the computer and learned he was ill and had no family in the area. Blackmon's wife died in 2011.

They also discovered Blackmon had withered away to 115 pounds in large part because he was unable to get food for himself.

Hinson went to Blackmon's house with officers from the Fayetteville, North Carolina Police Department to deliver groceries. They also made sure that Blackmon would get follow up care and help.

That's the heartwarming part.

Here's why I'm outraged, though. It appears as if the hospital just discharged Blackmon without making sure he would get the help for follow up treatment. What, was the old guy unprofitable now? Maybe used up his insurance or something? Groceries don't make pharmaceutical companies profitable like pills do, was that the problem?

According to the Inquisitor and ABC News, the private treatment and rehabiliitation center that discharged Blackmon never bothered to contact the North Carolina Department of Social Services, as they should have.

The DSS is now involved, helping Blackmon, and an outpouring of donations because of news reports about this incident are going to Blackmon and others who need help.  (He's donating the extra food he can't keep to the Salvation Army.)

Still, my blood is boiling. Does this rehabilitation hospital and others in the country just dump people out on the street when they're done with them, figuring they'll just die a quiet death and stop bothering everyone for shrieks?

I hope the people who did this to Blackmon at the hospital are punished BIG TIME. It's also time for investigation on how other hospitals and rehab centers discharge people who can't fend for themselves.

Now there's a good story idea for you journalists and muckrakers out there.

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