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Family of Suwannee nursing home resident wants answers after mother's death, COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 11:19 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 23:24:22-04

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — A local family is asking for answers after COVID-19 took one of their own.

Glenna Nutter was a resident of Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center, the nursing home with over 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Nutter died alone in Gainsville after her son and daughter-in-law repeatedly asked the facility to test her for COVID-19.

Her family says if the proper protocol was taken their loved one might still be alive.

"I want them held accountable for my mom's death," said Tom Nutter.

Tom Nutter and his wife Terri want answers from Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Glenna Nutter had been in the facility for three years.

She wasn't tested for COVID-19 until it was too late.

"We got a call that she wasn't doing good," Tom Nutter said. "That she had tested positive for coronavirus in Gainsville."

The call came after being transferred out of Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center to a different facility the day before.

Less than 24-hours later, on Easter Sunday, Tom Nutter's mother was gone.

He says his mom told them something wasn't right. She mentioned some negative patients were in the same room as those who tested positive.

She told them she was scared.

"They were housing roommates," said Terri Nutter. "One was a positive, one was a negative, and they were putting a plastic sheet basically between them."

The Nutters took their story to a law firm that is now investigating the allegations.

Their attorney, Brian Guppenberger says Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center has had issues in the past with infections.

"This is a facility that in the past has been cited for infection control issues, and apparently those citations haven't done anything," Guppenberger said.

Guppenberger also mentioned the lack of personal protective equipment being an issue for employees he's spoken with.

Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center did not respond to ABC 27's requests for comment.

"The biggest issue with me is I never even got to say goodbye to my mother," said Tom Nutter. "And two weeks later she was mailed to us in a box."

Now a family is left with only memories and heartache.