After spending close to $270,000 of his savings on a nursing home and around-the-clock care for his wife, John McCann was horrified to learn that doctors discovered 57 maggots had hatched in her ear.
Catherine McCann, a 92-year-old who has Alzheimer's disease and is unable to speak, was living at the Lutheran Home for the Aged in the suburb of Arlington Heights, Ill., at the time of the incident, CBS Chicago reports. Now the family is suing the nursing home for emotional distress and negligence.
The infestation was documented by doctors at Northwest Community Hospital, who made a videotape of the scene before beginning extraction. The tape was so graphic, however, CBS declined to air it.
The 300-plus bed facility, which has nonprofit status, has denied any wrongdoing.
In a 2012 ranking of nursing homes published by U.S. News & World Report, Lutheran Home for the Aged scored four out of five stars overall.
It received only two stars in the "Quality Measures" category, however, which includes the "percentages of residents who got recommended care, such as flu vaccinations, and percentages of residents who had pain, bedsores, urinary tract infections, and other care‑related problems."
In Illinois, residents of nursing homes are protected under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, which states in part:
An owner, licensee, administrator, employee or agent of a facility shall not abuse or neglect a resident. It is the duty of any facility employee or agent who becomes aware of such abuse or neglect to report it as provided in "The Abused and Neglected Long Term Care Facility Residents Reporting Act".