Disturbing Video Shows Dying World War II Vet Gasping For Air While Nurses Laugh

news
Photo via WXIA/NBC News/YouTube

Disturbing hidden camera footage kept secret for three years shows a dying World War II veteran gasping for air and calling to help in an Atlanta nursing home as attending nurses ignored his pleas and fumbled with his oxygen tank, Georgia NBC News affiliate WXIA reports.


The video shows 89-year-old James Dempsey pleading for help before his death in the care of the for-profit Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center in February 2014. In the footage, recorded through a nanny-cam planted by his son Tim amid suspicions of mistreatment, Dempsey can be heard crying, “Help me! Help me! I can’t breathe."

In the footage, one nurse is seen merely repositioned Dempsey, ignoring his pleas for help. She later returned with a second nurse and supervisor to find Dempsey unresponsive; the three are then shown mishandling the vet's oxygen and cackling at their mistakes before switching to a few, inconsistent attempts at CPR.

The new video, published WXIA on Nov. 18, is damning. Dempsey's family sued the nursing home following his death, and according to WXIA, part of the settlement agreement included the release six hours of video court deposition from the supervisor "explaining how she responded to the patient before she knew the hidden camera video existed" — an account completely contradicted by the newly-released secret footage.

The footage only became public after a DeKalb County judge rejected the nursing home's legal attempts to keep the video sealed from public view. Two nursing home employees implicated in the video were not dismissed by the facility until 10 months after the footage was first recorded; according to the Associated Press, the employees didn't even surrender their state nursing licenses until September 2017, when the NBC News affiliate "sent The Georgia Board of Nursing a link to the video."

James DempseyPhoto via WXIA/NBC News/YouTube

The Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center is still open. In a statement, the operator Sava Senior Care told said they were “saddened by the events, which occurred more than three years ago."

"[The] New leadership and the leadership team and the staff have worked very diligently to improve quality care and the quality of life for our residents," Sava told WXIA. "The facility recently was deficiency-free during our recent annual inspection conducted by the Georgia Department of Health on May 25, 2017.”

A 2016 report on elder abuse and the U.S.'s aging veteran population found that instances of neglect and mistreatment are woefully underreported among vets, primarily due to a lack of consistent screening and intervention procedures across the VA health system. In private healthcare facilities, vets are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to their increased risk of physical and mental disorders and lack of consistent support systems.

“We would have just thought it was natural causes and everything was done that should have been done and he passed away in his sleep,” Dempsey's son Tim told Atlanta's WSB-TV in December 2015. “You would never [think] that people would just let a person die,”

Casperassets.rbl.ms

Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

Take $75 off a Casper Mattress and $150 off a Wave Mattress with code TASKANDPURPOSE

And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

Read More Show Less

Sometimes, even the most well-meaning of tweets can come back to haunt you as a meme.

Read More Show Less
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)

Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email james@taskandpurpose.com with your story.

"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."

While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.

In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."

Read More Show Less
James Jackson, right, confers with his lawyer during a hearing in criminal court, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in New York. Jackson, a white supremacist, pled guilty Wednesday to killing a black man with a sword as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 13. (Associated Press/Bebeto Matthews)

White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.

Read More Show Less
A soldier plugs his ears during a live fire mission at Yakima Training Center. Photo: Capt. Leslie Reed/U.S. Army

A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.

Read More Show Less