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After AG report, one family hopes this is a wake up call to the State

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 12:36:18-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For Jill Sawyer and her family, 2020 was incredibly difficult.

"I had only found out he was positive the day before he passed away," Sawyer said.

In May, her father Gary Lickfeld died from the Coronavirus at age 70. Lickfeld, a retired sheriff deputy or more than 35 years, was at Newfane Rehab and Health Care Center. Things began to get worse when they started allowing COVID-19 positive patients in the doors as mandated by the state.

"It's literally like going on a roller coaster, only going down. So many infections, it spread so quickly, so many deaths," Sawyer said.

Sawyer says she believes the moving of COVID-19 positive patients into the home had a direct correlation with her fathers death.

"If his nursing home did not transfer (COVID-19 positive patients) he would not have died on May 7th, maybe it would have been a few more months, maybe another year."

After seeing the Attorney General's report state the requirement of putting COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk, Sawyer said it has given her even more of a reason to lose faith in the nursing home system within New York.

"I would really have some big concerns if I still had a loved ones in a facility."

She says the report truly shows the great work being done by the healthcare workers within the facilities, but also how much help they need.

"I would love to see a huge shift in the way we treat nursing homes," Sawyer said.

She hopes that this is a massive wake up call to the State to defend those who need their help the most.

"The nursing home needs to be fixed and now is the time for our governments to ban together to truly help those who are most vulnerable."