Sudbury

Sudbury woman still looking for answers after Newmarket nursing home 'nightmare'

Melodie Hughes calls it a “nightmare.”

‘100 per cent someone sexually assaulted her,’ daughter-in-law says.

Melodie Hughes says her mother-in-law, Carol, suffered serious injuries in a long-term care home in Newmarket. (Supplied by Melodie Hughes)

Melodie Hughes calls it a "nightmare."

It started in 2015.

Hughes says her mother-in-law, after just four months in a long-term care home in Newmarket, was battered and sexually assaulted.

"We had a phone call at 10:00 p.m. to advise us that my mom was being taken to hospital by ambulance with chest pains," Hughes said. " When we got to the hospital my mom was on a stretcher in the hallway, obviously in distress."

"She wasn't speaking, but she was crying and she couldn't get up on her own."

Hughes said that following that trauma, her mother-in-law was stricken with a type of delirium, and unable to communicate how she received the injuries.

Hughes alerted the long term care home of these injuries, which prompted a further, more thorough examination upon her mother-in-law's return to the residence. It was at that point staff discovered more injuries.

"She was black and blue from above her belly to her breast and shoulder," Hughes said. "Her vaginal area was black and blue right to her rectum so someone obviously sexually assaulted her. Someone 100 percent sexually assaulted my mother-in-law."

Hughes contacted York Regional Police, who advised her to procure a rape kit from another hospital.

Melodie Hughes says her mother-in-law sustained several bruises, like the one pictured here, during her stay at a long-term care facility in Newmarket. (Supplied by Melodie Hughes)

But even with a police investigation, Hughes still doesn't know who is to blame.

"It was completely swept under the carpet. Nobody's ever been held accountable, not even near accountable," Hughes said. "I've fought the ministry tooth and nail."

"I rung those people morning till night to get answers," she said. "And the home was charged with a few non-compliance [offences] that they didn't take notes, that they didn't inform the police." 

Jamie West is now taking Hughes' concerns to Queen's Park.

On Tuesday, the Sudbury MPP said he's calling on the Conservative government to hold a public inquiry.

"We need a long-term care find-and-fix public inquiry that will compel this government to fix the problems in care that everyone knows have persisted for far too long," West said.

"No one should ever have to go through what (Melodie's mother-in-law) Carol Anne experienced. No senior should have to experience the appalling conditions in our long-term care homes."

In May, Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton said that Ontario is launching an independent commission into the province's long-term care system.

Premier Doug Ford has said that a public inquiry could take years to reach its conclusions and a commission is a government-led review that can act more quickly.

According to the Ministry, the commission is expected to begin in September.

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