Bradenton Herald Bradenton.com

Published: November 15, 2012

Letters To The Editor

Florida’s mistreatment of incapacitated children is identical to its heartless care of elderly wards warehoused in institutions, as detailed in a Nov. 12 Bradenton Herald article.

Poor Marie Freyre, just a child, was brutally taken by the state hundreds of miles from her loving family to be confined to a nursing home with a known reputation of problematic care. Hours later, sweet Marie, traumatized by the separation and abrupt isolation from her family, screaming to go home, died of a heart attack.

To anyone who has ever seen a child or an elder ripped from his family, the sight and the haunting sounds are indelible in your memory. I have seen both.

In Bradenton, my 89-year-old father was taken from my arms and put into lockdown — for three weeks, with a no-contact order on him. As a state ward, no court hearing was held to release him to his family, despite Florida law requiring prompt hearings or automatic release within 72 hours.

How simple it is to follow the money trail. For this lockdown of my father, a Holocaust survivor with post-traumatic stress disorder and 456 hours in isolation, the hospital charged well over $40,000 to Medicare.

Marie’s nursing home was paid $506 a day but her stay was ended by her death, one half day after her admission.

Can a child or an elder die from state-imposed emotional trauma of isolation from her loved ones? Marie knows that for sure.

Beverly R. Newman, Ed.D.

Bradenton

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