This is too horrible for words. How can such neglect and abuse happen?
STAFF at a care home were told not to touch an elderly former model’s scabies-infested hand in case it fell off, her family have claimed.
Disturbing pictures show how Rebecca Zeni, 93, was “eaten alive” by a horrifying outbreak of scabies which led to her dying from septicemia in June, 2015.
Scabies is an agonising and maddeningly itchy skin condition caused by parasitic mites which burrow into the skin and lay eggs before feasting on the body.
Rebecca’s relatives are now suing Pruitt Health – who own the Shepherds Hill Nursing Home in LaFayette, Georgia – for neglect.
The family’s lawyer Mike Prieto claims that staff at the home were told “not to touch Zeni’s hand” over fears “it might fall off her body.”
He told 11ALIVE.com: “I don’t understand how you can allow a human being to suffer needlessly.
One of the horrifying photographs released shows the elderly woman’s hand which appears to have turned black, is covered in dead skin and has long overgrown finger nails.
Rebecca, who was once a glamorous model working in New York, was placed in the home in 2010 after she was diagnosed with dementia.
It has emerged that state health officials knew of the outbreak of scabies but never investigated the problem or inspected Shepherds Hill.
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The condition is curable with a permethrin cream which needs to be applied at regular intervals for at least a week and maybe more depending on how bad it is.
Dr Kris Sperry, a forensic pathologist, who has studied Rebecca’s autopsy report said her case was “one of the most horrendous things I’ve ever seen in my career as a forensic pathologist.”
He added: “I would seriously consider calling this a homicide by neglect” while admitting that the 93-year-old would have suffered a painful death.