Patient's widow sounds off about video

November 20, 2008 4:34:14 AM PST
The widow of a neglected Cherry Hospital patient is speaking out about his death.Susan Sabock tells Eyewitness News she believes her 50-year-old husband Steven would still be alive today if hospital workers would have paid attention to him.

Steven's family first had to deal with his death last April, now they say they have to deal with learning how he died.

"It is the most unbelievable thing that you can ever imagine," Sabock said when referring to surveillance video of the hours leading up to her husband's death.

The surveillance video was taken at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro between April 28 and 29. Sabock says she has tried to watch it, but still cannot bring herself to.

"I can't even put into words how they can just sit there hour after hour and just watch him," she said.

The video shows Steven fall at one point, slamming his head on the floor.

Two hours later, a staff member takes his blood pressure and places him in a chair.

That is where he stayed for the next 22 hours.

During which time, staff members are seen socializing, playing cards and then leaving for the night -- leaving Sabock in the dark.

"These people are paid to take care of the patients that are there and we play cards and games and dance and we sing and hug and kiss, it's sick," Sabock said.

Sabock says what is equally as disturbing is the fact that most of the staff members involved in the care of her husband of 25 years and the father of her 3 children are still on the job.

"How can they just say that they're going to retrain them?" Sabock asked. "You can't retrain somebody to have compassion. They obviously didn't care that the cameras were rolling when they left Steve to sit there and do nothing and just die."

The state medical examiner has said he died from a pre-existing heart condition. But after learning the hospital falsified medical records, there's only one thing Sabock says she is sure of.

"I honestly believe that he would be alive, if they'd even took an EKG," she said. "They would have seen that there was something wrong and I think he'd be here today."

The Sabock family and their attorneys are in the process of conducting their own investigation into Steven's death.

According to a local newspaper, three Cherry Hospital employers were fired and 10 others were disciplined for neglecting Sabock.

One received a five-day suspension, four others were suspended for three days and five received written warnings.


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