Beware of the John Keever Solace facility in Asheville for victims of stroke. My 95 year old mother was "locked in" and could no longer even "grimace" to indicate discomfort for the last several days of her life, but could still barely raise her eyebrows to respond to my communication with her until she succombed. For the five days we were in Solace, I stayed in Mother's room night and day to communicate for her with staff, who, until Mother's last day, responded promptly whenever I asked for additional prn morphine to allow more aborption of oxygen through vasodillation from the morphine, as Mother was also suffering from congestive heart failure. But for the last, entire day, although I repeatedly begged the nurse on duty, she refused to administer prn morphine as Mother lay panting for oxygen and crying for mercy, her tears so tiny from severe dehydration, with nothing to drink or eat for days. Confirmed by Mother's medical records there, that nightmare scenario my family will carry to our graves. Although the NC Board of Nursing issued a "letter of concern" to the nurse after their investigation, she remains on duty, tending totally helpless stroke victims, even though she arbitrarily restricted Mother's morphine doseage to only one tenth of the hospice standard of care for patients with Mother's condition. To make matters much worse, the medical director of the facility defended this nurse's cruelty, claiming Mother may have been "too fragile" for more than one milligram of morphine every four hours, despite the fact this DO was contradicting hospice standard of care and the advice from every other hospice professional we consulted. The only reason we can imagine for this nurse's intentional cruelty, is that despite the repeated insistence of the nurse on duty on Mother's first day there, I would not let them catheterize, as Mother had an ongoing, painful UTI that would be worsened by catheterization, which I had already cleared with the admitting physician. Although the nursing staff repeatedly insisted that catheterization was "protocol," the attending MD confirmed that was not the case. So even though a "locked in" stroke victim has a dedicated advocate present at all times at Solace, there is no guarantee that a loved one will not be torchered to death through denial of pain relief, even though that is the main objective of hospice care and the only reason for its existence. Since there apparently is little or no concern by the administration of Solace or Mission Hospital, nor the NC Board of Nursing, regarding this devious form of torturous revenge by nurses against "troublesome" patients, the public is left to suffer the consequences, and are left to warn others and seek relief from this outrage only through adjudication.
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