MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (FOX 2) - Two ex-nursing home employees are accused of abusing a vulnerable adult at a Mount Clemens nursing home.
The woman, in her 90s, complained of pain to a staff member. It didn't take long for them to learn she was suffering multiple fractures at the hands of two nursing home employees - whose jobs were to keep her safe.
"It breaks my heart they trust us with their care," said Kevin Evans executive director at Martha T. Berry. "It's our whole heart to make sure that we do everything to keep them safe, to have them have a life worth living for as long as they are here."
But last May right before Mother's Day, two employees at the Mt. Clemens Martha T. Berry Medical Care Facility broke that trust and Evans says their actions led to the severe injury of a disabled elderly woman.
"It was one of our staff that had talked to the resident and said I had some pain and we went and talked to her and found out that the two individuals had transferred her - and she felt pain at that time," Evans said.
An investigation revealed 24-year-old Latrice Smith and 22-year-old Arnold Hudson, both from Eastpointe, failed to use a medical device lift designed to safely and carefully transfer fragile patients from their bed to their wheelchair.
Instead, Smith and Hudson eventually admitted to manually moving the patient which caused her to suffer multiple fractures.
"They told us it was a Mother's Day party and they wanted to get her up quickly," Evans said. "That one of their stories."
Because they did not follow the transfer policy or care plan put in place, both employees were fired.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Tuesday she has charged Smith and Hudson with vulnerable adult abuse, fourth degree.
Evans says the facility's leadership did not take the incident lightly. After they learned what happened, the heads of Martha T. Berry conducted an audit and employees received additional education and training.
"Ongoing training," Evans said. "We have a robust education program that is year-round, that we work on things. Any time we see any patterns or any issues like this, absolutely we have a sense of urgency that is profound in making sure this doesn't happen again."
The charge could lead to one year in jail and a fine. Both defendants posted a $5,000 bond. An audit revealed no other patients had been injured and this may have been an isolated incident.