Nursing home resident's neck is broken during tornado

Nursing home resident's neck is broken during tornado

81-year-old Raeesa Safdarali can't move or talk after she was tossed about during Tuesday's tornado.

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by DAVID SCHECHTER

Bio | Email | Follow: @davidschechter

WFAA

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Updated Saturday, Apr 7 at 9:50 AM

ARLINGTON -- Raeesa Safdarali is 81-years-old and now she can't move or hardly talk as she recovers at Harris Methodist. Her neck and hip are broken.  Her head cut from flying glass. Her story, almost unbelievable.
   
Her son, Azam Shaikh, recounts what happened when the tornado ripped roof off the Green Oaks Nursing Home.

"At one point the nurse was telling me, for the facility, that she was lifted off from the wheelchair," said Shaikh. "She spun around in the air, as well.  That's terrifying.  And she's still going through, as we speak, yesterday and today, the trauma.  She's still remembering and still scared of it."

Before the tornado hit Green Oaks transferred all residents from their rooms to an interior hall.  Just after the storm, Green Oaks administrator Kyle Coleman spoke to News 8.

"You put preparations into place but you don't really know until you hear that noise or see the glass break, or whatever it is,” said Coleman. “That's when your instincts kick in and hey this is survival mode. Do what you can to protect the patients."

There are several state statutes regulating emergency preparedness for nursing homes.

And there is no indication that Green Oaks failed to follow those rules.

But Shaikh still wonders how the state can allow vulnerable adults to live in buildings that, he said, are not strong enough to protect them.

"There should actually be a state mandated plan to make sure that these facilities are complying by some kind of safety procedures or protocol to protect the residents of those places,” Shaikh said.

Residents who trust in others to keep them safe.
 

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com

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