Paralyzed Girl Dies in 'Filthy' Home Just Days After Social Worker Visits

This is so tragic. An 18-year-old paralyzed, special needs teen reportedly died in her home, one that was allegedly filthy and filled with dog feces, trash, and adult diapers. She also reportedly had bedsores on her body that were so old and deep, her bones and organs could be seen through them. The really scary thing? This didn't have to happen. A social services worker had visited the home just six days before the girl died -- and said everything at the house was fine.

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Authorities say the home where paralyzed teen Linda Kelley lived, which belonged to her parents, was crawling with vermin and covered with feces and cigarette butts. She was also reportedly in terrible condition, covered with deep, blackened bedsores.

Linda reportedly likely died from sepsis as a result of these wounds.

So how is it that a caseworker and employees from a special needs center visited the home just days before her death? An investigation has opened into the horrific incident, looking into the possibility that the records of the condition of the home were completely falsified.

But is this all the caseworker's fault? Caseworker Teresa Carter reportedly said she was handling 28 cases when legally she was supposed to be handling only 17. Carter said during one investigative hearing:

I was extremely overwhelmed at work. I couldn't sleep at night. I couldn't keep up ... If I had to say what the breakdown was, I'd have to say it's time.

However, the DCS says overwork is no excuse and fired her. The truth is the DCS should be looking at itself and not just scapegoating the caseworker. If she is horribly overworked, that WILL affect the quality of what she does. The DCS should look at ALL of its employees and the workloads they handle. Human beings are not robots and they need sleep and time to destress.

Linda was failed by so many people here. Not only her parents, but the people who should have been looking out for her. What did they see when they went to the home? Did they even look around?? I do feel for the parents though; Linda has been severely disabled since childhood, and I imagine caring for her must have been very difficult. But there is no excuse for this kind of neglect.

Linda could have been saved if only one person was doing his or her job well.

 

Image via Joshua Zader/Flickr

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