ATLANTA (CBS46) -- The shake-up continues at the Atlanta VA after a veteran in the assisted living facility on the hospital’s campus was bitten by ants more than 100 times.
In an email to CBS46, Laquna Ross the daughter of Air Force veteran Joel Marrable wrote, “He was found covered in ants in his room twice. The ants were traversing his body for extended periods of time eating the drippings from around his feeding tube, the soiled areas of his diaper, his face, ears, back and legs”.
Ross also sat down with CBS46 for a one-on-one interview where she went into more detail about her father’s situation.
“Dad was a really funny guy great personality lots of charisma “ said Ross as she described Marrable, who died a few weeks ago at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Eagles Nest Community Living Center Nursing Home. Ross says the last few days of his life things at the facility took a turn for the worst.
“When I went to pull his hand out that’s when I noticed his really enlarged hand and I didn’t know what was going on and then I noticed on his hand he had some bumps, some very small, white pulsey looking bumps,” added Ross.
After further investigation Ross said she realized her dad had more than 100 ant bites and they were all over his body.
“Dads conditions didn’t permit him to remove himself from the situation, completely unable to move, talk, or use his hands to hit the nurses button, or to get up his self and walk out; so he just really became a victim of the environment as it happened.”
The situation has caused major changes in the Atlanta VA health system. The regional director for the southeast to be placed on immediate administrative leave. The areas chief medical officer and seven other employees are also being reassigned pending a review of quality and safety issues at the facility.
But Ross said those changes only came after the media got involved. In fact, she said no one at the VA contacted her about her dads injuries; and when she discovered them on her own, she had to wait about five days before officials reached out.
“I felt so stuck and so limited and I felt like a number of small piece of a big puzzle. I don’t think anyone in the world, veteran or not, would be okay with their parent themselves being placed in conditions where they are repeatedly covered in ants. And I think it speaks to the cleanliness of the faculty.”