World War II veteran James Dempsey was much loved by his family and community.
But when he passed away in 2014, they felt at peace because they assumed it was from natural causes, neighbor Fred Adoud said.
Until they watched video footage filmed in the 89-year-old’s nursing home on the day he died.
According to 11Alive, Dempsey’s family placed a hidden camera inside his room at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center in Georgia.
The camera, which was pointed toward the decorated veteran’s bed, captured the heartbreaking moment he went into respiratory distress and started to call out to the nursing home staff.
He can be heard repeating:
“Nurse … help me … help me.”
Two nurses and an aide entered the room several minutes later and found Dempsey unresponsive, but none of them performed CPR on the 89-year-old.
At one point, the staff started to laugh as they set up his oxygen machine, the video shows.
An ambulance wasn’t called until an hour later, and sadly, the war hero passed away.
When questioned about the incident, one of the nurses claimed they had attempted CPR on Dempsey before he passed away; she was unaware that there was a hidden camera.
When she was shown the footage of the incident, she called her previous statements an “honest mistake.” According to USA Today, Adoud said:
“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.”
And four years after Dempsey passed, the two nurses, Loyce Pickquet Agyeman and Wanda Nuckles, and the aide, Mable Turman, are now under arrest, People reports.
Agyeman was given the most serious charges, felony murder and neglect to an elder, for her failure to help Dempsey.
Nuckles was also charged with neglect to an elder. The aide was charged with depriving an elder person of essential services.
In September 2017, all three surrendered their licenses and have since been fired.
Dempsey’s son, Tim Dempsey, told WSB-TV that he felt “shock” and “dismay” when he saw the tape. He said:
“You would never thought that people would just let a person die.”
The son has since filed a lawsuit against the nursing home where his father died.