Mom hospitalized for knee surgery awakens awakens with a broken neck. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

Mom hospitalized for knee surgery awakens awakens with a broken neck. Any advice?

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She hasn't even asked the doctor what happened. She went into a skilled nursing facility, but her 120 days through Medicare is nearly up. She is at a loss as to what to do. She is extremely passive. Plus I saw her yesterday and she is now refusing to eat. I don't think she'll be with us much longer. I believe her husband is equally unable to make competent decisions and he's a mean SOB with a history of physically abusing her. Her only son (my husband) suffered a brain injury and also is not suitable to make informed decisions. I'm the daughter-in-law watching this dysfunctional circus. No matter how I look at it, for this situation to be resolved I am the one it falls to. No other family lives in this state. Any advice? If I try to take on her guardianship I promise the SOB will fight it. I'm sooooo confused!

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First, you must determine WHERE the neck injury took place and go from there. If husband, the police need to investigate and arrest him. If hospital, tell the surgeon who operated you are reporting him to the State Medical Board for negligent malpractice. You then go to an medical malpractice attorney and get Power of Attorney and make your mom in law sign it. Tell the attorney you want a full, written report of her treatment and everyone who touched her and have him file a lawsuit
Tell the attorney you have little or no money so he will take your case (pro-bono or on contingency) basis. DO THIS NOW, DON't WAIT.
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According to her, they somehow broke her neck during the surgery. I doubt anyone from the hospital would speak to me because of HIPPA laws. Her husband is the ultimate control freak and is abusive. He wouldn't agree to anything that might take her out of his complete control. The hospital should be sued, at least for the cost of her rehab. About 2 months ago she told me that it had occurred to them. But throughout their marriage she has taken on all of the responsibility for "administration" of their lives. I'm surprised he can tie his shoes without her help. Filing a lawsuit is beyond his capabilities..... and he's a retired college professor! At this point, I feel so helpless.... sitting on the sidelines watching her suffer. The only thing I can think of is to pursue guardianship. I'm certain she won't live long enough for that to come to fruition.
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So do you think the neck break occurred in the hospital, before she went into the SNF? How do you know her neck was broken? If you think it happened before she went into the SNF, I'd ask to meet with hospital administrators to see what happened. The only thing I can imagine is they dropped her somewhere along the line. But they'd probably only talk to you if you have the DPOA for health. It sounds like you've got your hands full. Do you want to take on a possible lawsuit too? Would the rest of the family support you in that?
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