Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Elderly woman left in recliner dies

A woman was left sitting for a month with deep bedsores in a recliner soaked with her waste

A US woman taken to hospital in critical condition after sitting for a month with deep bedsores in a recliner soaked with her waste has died on her 81st birthday, prosecutors said.

Five family members who lived with her face various elderly abuse charges and could see upgraded charges.

Police in Fall River, Bristol County, Massachusetts, found Mary Araujo in a recliner, drifting in and out of consciousness, after a family member called police dispatchers.

She was taken to hospital with a bacterial infection in her bloodstream and was covered with bedsores, including one so deep that tendons could be seen through her decomposing skin, said Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Bristol District Attorney Sam Sutter. She also had one-inch facial hair around her mouth, and her toenails were so long that they were curled and bent back into her skin, he said.

The woman's 49-year-old daughter, Karen Cabral, and Cabral's 51-year-old husband, Duarte, were charged with permitting injury to an elderly or disabled person and permitting serious injury to an elderly or disabled person. Two of the woman's grandsons, Scott Cabral, 24, and Corey Cabral, 21, were arrested on the same charges. Another grandson, Keith Cabral, 28, was charged with elder neglect with serious injury.

All five lived with Araujo in a second-floor apartment.

They have pleaded not guilty and were being held at the Bristol County House of Correction on bail.

Karen Cabral's lawyer, Kenneth van Colen, said he had not been told that Araujo had died. He declined to comment.

During a bail hearing, van Colen said the elderly woman had been in a slow decline, which accelerated in the few days before the family called police. He said the family asked her to go to the hospital and bought apple sauce and other soft food to try to get her to eat.

He said she rejected their offers to help her bathe.

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