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A WWII vet begged for CPR 6 times while nurses laughed as he died

A shocking incident where a veteran was left to die even though he begged for help at a nursing centre. A World War II veteran passed away in the face of a laughing nurse; if the evidence of a video camera is to be believed.

The incident occurred on the February 27, 2014 when James Dempsey, 89, of Woodstock, Georgia called for help six times before becoming unconscious while heaving for air, according to a video evidence released to WXIA-TV after defense counselors representing Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation were unsuccessful in keeping the material sealed.


A retired official from the Georgia National Guard, James had been married for more than 50 years and was a decorated WWII veteran, according to his obituary.

The video evidence surfaces from a camera that was installed by family members when Dempsey was admitted to the hospital. Survived by two sons and two grandchildren, the family has taken it upon themselves to have the nurse punished under the court of law for criminal negligence.

That fateful day…

Georgia state records disclosed that nursing home staff found Dempsey unresponsive at 5:28am. However, the staff took more than an hour to call  911 at 6:25am that day.

As part of the court proceedings, a former nursing supervisor in Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation and prime accused, Wanda Nuckles, revealed to the prosecution, how she had rushed to Dempsey’s room when a nurse alerted her that Dempsey had stopped breathing.


She further revealed in her deposition that cardiopulmonary resuscitation had been performed before she had entered his room. But video evidence revealed that nobody had performed the cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Even Nuckles hadn’t immediately started CPR herself.

The video evidence also reveals that another nurse who was present in the room with Nuckles; also failed to check Dempsey’s vital signs. When Nuckles saw the video clip, she said she would have reprimanded the nurse for the way she had responded to Dempsey.

Nuckles defended her actions by calling it as an ‘honest mistake.’ “Sir, that was an honest mistake,” Nuckles said in the recorded deposition when confronted with the video evidence. “I was just basing everything on what I normally do,” she pleaded.

However, the video reveals a completely different version that stands in contrary to what Nuckles explained in court. It also shows that the nurses had difficulty getting Dempsey’s oxygen machine operational and Nuckles could be heard laughing.


“When she called it ‘an honest mistake,’ that’s not an honest mistake. That’s a deliberate thing to say, you know, covering up a mess,” Dempsey’s neighbor, Fred Adoud, said when he was shown the video along with Nuckles’ deposition.

When another professional nurse was shown the same video deposition, the agony of the patient was there to see. Elaine Harris, a retired nursing professor and expert in adult critical care, noticed several violations of care in the video which entailed the failure to respond, assess and critical inaction on the nurse’s part.

Post death

Three years after Dempsey’s death, both nurses were compelled to surrender their licenses in September, according to the Georgia Board of Nursing.

On average the Georgia Nursing Board takes more than a year, to investigate a nursing complaint. But Dempsey’s case had gained a lot of media attention that resulted in action being taken swiftly.

The hospital underwent a thorough inspection post-Dempsey’s death in the month of May, but this wasn’t a solitary incident that had put the hospital under the scanner—for all the wrong reasons.

Medicare records revealed that the nursing home facility was cited more than two dozen times for serious health and safety violations, including ‘immediate jeopardy’ levels that are considered to be the worst violation. Medicare withdrew one payment and the facility has previously been fined $813,113 since 2015.

Its rating isn’t helpful either. With only one star to its credit, it is the lowest rating a medical center can get from the federal agency.





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