UPDATE: The Agency for Health Care Administration, the company who owns the Orange Park Medical Center, on Friday said there have been no previous reports of maggots at this facility.
ORANGE PARK, Fla.—A brother and sister are disgusted and upset with how their mother allegedly spent her final days in the hospital.
They have filed a lawsuit against Orange Park Medical Center, claiming maggots were found in her mouth and other parts of her body.
"She was fiercely independent," said Fred Mooneyham.
Fred Mooneyham and his sister, Patti, remember their mother Dorothy, as a vibrant and funny woman.
"She was not a weak and frail woman in spirit or in body," added Patti Mooneyham.
But, they say there is now a different image of their mom that will forever live in their minds.
"The only impression I have of my mother's death, instead of her going peacefully, is her laying in a bed like this," said Fred Mooneyham.
The lawsuit alleges that Dorothy Mooneyham was admitted to the hospital Nov. 13, 2015, and, while there, she suffered a heart attack and was moved to the ICU. She was there until Dec. 11.
The lawsuit states, while she was there, her mouth and other parts of her body became infested with maggots.
"It was wrong. It was disrespectful. It was disgraceful," said Patti Mooneyham.
The lawsuit claims the hospital failed to maintain safe and sanitary conditions in the intensive care unit. The suit also claims Mooneyham did not receive appropriate oral care and bathing.
"None of it was detected until the maggots actually started coming out of her mouth the next day," said Attorney Frank Ashton. "This went on for a period of three days."
Orange Park Medical Center released this statement:
We are aware of the outrageous and inaccurate allegations that have been made. While we understand the grief of losing a loved one and we offer our condolences to this family, we are proud of the skilled and compassionate care our team provides every day to our patients, and we will vehemently defend this case in court.
As for the Mooneyhams, they stand by their lawsuit.
"To know that this is how she went and she laid there helpless... because these people couldn't deliver on their promise... is something I'm going to have to live with the rest of my life," Fred Mooneyham said.
We checked with the Agency for Healthcare Administration, which oversees hospitals in the state of Florida.
We were told the Agency did not conduct a complaint investigation relative to the issues in this story previously, but the agency now plans to investigate the claims raised in the lawsuit.