HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) — A 14th person has died, linked to the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.
Hollywood Police confirmed the death of Francisca Andrade, 96, on Monday.
Her son Rafael spoke to CBS4’s Joan Murray.
“I feel sad for the people who died it never should have happened,” said Rafael Andrade.
He said when his mother, who was struggling, was rushed to Memorial Regional the day of the evacuations.
“When she got to the hospital she was having trouble breathing and was stressed,” he explained. “She said please don’t take me back to that place it’s too hot”
In addition to Francisca Andrade, a 13th patient from the nursing home died Monday morning, according to her daughter.
Cecilia Franco, 90, died at 3:45 a.m.
Cecilia is the wife of Miguel Antonio Franco, 92, who was among the first eight people who died in the facility where the air conditioning failed after Hurricane Irma knocked out the power. This left residents sweltering in the facility for several days after the storm.
Cecilia Franco had lived at the Rehabilitation Center Of Hollywood Hills for eight years and suffered from Alzheimer’s and complications from a stroke. She was bedridden, had a feeding tube and could not verbally communicate, her relatives said. Here husband had just joined her at the home in February.
The couple shared a room in the nursing home’s second floor.
The nursing home was evacuated last month. Twelve other residents of the home died ranging from 57-years-old to 99-years-old.
Cellphone video taken by a family member of patients at the facility after power was knocked out revealed a glimpse of the conditions inside.
Fans were set up and windows were opened to try to let air in. A naked patient was slumped over, apparently in an attempt to stay cool. In the sweltering heat, some patients’ temperatures climbed to nearly 110 degrees.
Hollywood Police said they are treating all deaths from the facility as part of the criminal investigation into the incident unless otherwise notified by the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Broward Medical Examiner’s Office says elderly patients who had returned to the same condition they had been in before the power outage would likely not be linked to the incident if they die.
To try to clarify whether the nursing home’s temperature played a role in some of the deaths, medical examiners will comb through their medical records and interview about their conditions before the incident.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has accused the facility of failing to safeguard its patients and send them to a hospital right next door. Hollywood Hills, meanwhile, said it notified the Governor’s Office in a series of phone calls as soon as the air conditioning went out.
The voice mails left by the facility on the Governor’s phone were deleted but the governor’s office said the information in those calls was shared and at no time did the facility report that the safety of its patients was at risk.
The state has taken actions against the nursing home suspending the facility from the Medicaid program and revoking its license on September 20th. The facility laid off all 245 workers on the same day, according to our news partners at the Miami Herald.
The nursing home has filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court challenging the admissions moratorium and Medicaid suspension.
Judge James Shelfer has scheduled an Oct. 27 hearing on the nursing home’s request for an injunction, according to a notice issued last month.
(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)