BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) — A woman is speaking out after her 73-year-old father died of the coronavirus.
Earl Denbow Jr. spent the last two years on the dementia floor at Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center, the first nursing home in western Pennsylvania to see dozens of cases of COVID-19.
Keri Boyer said her father had Parkinson’s disease and after he ran away from their house in 2017, he was admitted to Brighton.
Boyer told KDKA that she knew it was only a matter of time before the facility was hit with the virus. She said her father had three other roommates and there was just not enough staff.
As of Saturday, the union that represents the workers at Brighton confirmed at least 42 patients and 10 staff members tested positive for the virus.
“It’s going to go through nursing homes like wildfire as soon as someone gets it,” Boyer said.
Boyer said her father died within a week of contracting the virus.
“The hardest part is seeing the people that don’t want to take it seriously,” Boyer said.
Denbow Jr. was the third person to die from coronavirus at the home.
“To know that there was a stranger there with my dad when it should have been me, but it couldn’t be me, that was a bitter pill to swallow,” Boyer said.
Families like Boyer’s are now asking why Beaver County has not gotten involved.
Beaver County Board of Commissioners Chairman Daniel released a statement, saying:
“We are aware through media reports of the issues confronting the residents, staff and management at Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center. To date, the only requests made from Brighton Rehab of the County was through our Emergency Management Department requesting personal protective equipment (PPE) which was forwarded to PEMA. One of those requests was already fulfilled, and the other was recently submitted over the weekend. This is not a county facility and therefore the Beaver County Board of Commissioners has no oversight of its operations, but certainly will offer any assistance we can if requested.”