Essie Evans is familiar with long rides. It took her 8-hours, back and forth on Interstate 85, just to take her son Cornelius to and from his pediatrician appointments. Cornelius was a 14-year-old boy with multiple and severe developmental disabilities that require 24-hour a day, one-on-one care. When Ms. Evans wasn’t able to physically or financially provide continuous care for her son, she made one of the most difficult decisions a mother can make.
Ms. Evans placed Cornelius in a nursing facility that promised around the clock medical attention, physical therapy and an education program designed to help her son. Unfortunately, her son suffered through several illnesses and infections while in the facility. Ms. Evans even suspected abuse and decided to bring Cornelius back home, despite the lack of medical support (nursing aides, blood draws, therapeutic mattress, and a Hoyer lift) prescribed by his pediatrician.
Ms. Evans gave her son unconditional love, care, and attention like any mother would in her position, yet it was difficult, exhausting and almost unbearable. Her small tight knit family barely held it together with the transporting, feeding, bathing, and turning of Cornelius every two hours to prevent the growth of bed sores. His pain was her pain. But the Evans Family are not isolated in their struggle.
Cornelius died on July 2013 while in respite care. Although he won a lawsuit against the state of Georgia he never received in-home nursing care.