Moline, IL- Barry Beauchamp, 54, was fighting cancer and he was winning. After chemotherapy the former serviceman was in remission and the outlook was good, but just three days after he was moved from Forest Hill Nursing Home in East Moline, Beauchamp abruptly died and his family wants answers.
On Thursday Nov. 21st, Beauchamp was awoken after getting taking a chemo-pill and was told to pack his things, he was being moved to a facility farther away and his family was given no input in where he was placed.
The owner of Forest Hill, Michael Lerner, said that families were given the option of choosing which facility their loved ones would be sent to, but Beauchamp’s family denied his claims.
“He didn’t have the opportunity to go local, they just shipped him out to another place further away. I think Forest Hill herded everyone out like they were cattle. They were a number with a tag on their ear,” Barry’s younger brother, Mike Evans told WQAD. “He wasn’t a number. He was my brother, and now I don’t have him anymore.”
Barry was among the close to 70 elderly or sick patients who were moved from the Forest Hill Nursing Home over a two-week period before they closed their doors.
On November 24th, Beauchamp’s family received a call from the Galesburg long-term care facility informing them that Barry had died from his cancer, but the family is skeptical.
His mother explained that doctors told her her son was in remission and demanded that an autopsy be performed. They don’t understand how he could have died within such a short period when his prognosis was positive. She was not able to see her son after he was moved because the new facility was too far away.
“We lost him. They took him down there. It’s sad how they’ve treated these people. It’s not right. It’s not right for us and not right for the patients,” said Barry’s mother, Nancy Ward.
“My car’s not that trustworthy to go that far, that’s why we wanted to get him close,” Ward said. “It’s not right how they got kicked out of there. He went from fighting cancer, taking the chemo, he fought it all this time with the pills and now, I lose him within three days? You tell me something’s right? It’s not.”
Other patients had a bad experience with their move. Many of the patients were moved to facilities too far away for their spouses or other family members to visit them daily. The majority of families were only given four days’ notice before their loved one would be moved, this they said was not enough time to find a facility that would keep these patients closer to their loved ones.
The Forest Hill Nursing Home is now being investigated by the Illinois about their abrupt closure and the way in which patients were shipped off.
Many nursing homes in Illinois are struggling financially and are woefully understaffed.
If an autopsy reveals that Beauchamp’s death was not caused by his cancer and there was some negligence involved, his family may have grounds to file a wrongful death suit with the help of a nursing home abuse attorney like melolegal.com.