HASKELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – 23 cases of adenovirus have now been confirmed at nursing rehab center in New Jersey, and officials announced Friday that an eighth child had passed away after contracting the virus.
CBS2’s Meg Baker spoke exclusively to a patient who described the grisly conditions he says he encountered.
Eugene Dorio says he went through eight weeks of hell living at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. He’s out now, which is a big reason why he’s all smiles.
“There’s just no compassion, ya know?” the 66-year-old diabetic said.
Dorio is unable to walk due to neuropathy of the legs, and says he keeps his bags packed ready to leave at a moment’s notice.
“It was really dirty, they didn’t really take care of me,” he said. “It was like I had to wait for another shift to come in another two hours to change me, and this went on daily.”
He says he wanted to speak out because there are others at the center in worse condition than he was.
Dorio says he visited the pediatric unit, where the medically fragile children lived, about once a week. He says they always seemed to be sick.
His visitors started documenting the neglect they observed. He says photos they took sho blood and feces on walls and floors, beds held together with scotch tape, and moldy oatmeal in the dining hall.
“Even in the cafeteria, we’d get utensils crusted with other food,” he said.
Dorio says the center would sometimes smell of urine or feces, something the staff would blame on patients’ bodily functions.
“Well that’s your job,” he says. “Clean it up and get rid of the smell.”
The New Jersey Department of Health confirms the smell, saying during an August inspection there was a strong and unpleasant odor. They cited the center for not following proper infection protocol, something which can lead to adenovirus and other illnesses.
“We went to visit him and he didn’t have a blanket,” Dorio’s daughter said.
CBS2 asked the center for an in-camera interview, but they said they weren’t available. Late Friday, the center said Dorio’s claims run counter to its long-standing good reputation and that it’s rated in the top ten percent of all nursing facilities nationwide.
Click HERE for more information from the DOH on the adenovirus.