A family are demanding answers after a great grandmother died from horrific injuries she sustained in hospital following an alleged "altercation with a nurse" that left her with "catastrophic" injuries that meant she was "hard to recognise."
An investigation was launched after Carol Smith, 77, died after suffering a broken nose and jaw, a skull fracture and a major bleed on the brain that meant her life support was switched off.
Daughter Jennifer Shannon, 50, said mum Carol was admitted to hospital after a fall at home, but was well, sitting up in bed and had no major injuries when she went in.
But Jennifer claims she got a phone call the following day to say her mother had injured herself after she "fell during an altercation with a nurse."
Jennifer was horrified when she arrived at hospital, and saw her mother covered in cuts, her face swollen beyond recognition, with a misshapen skull.
Hours later Carol's life support was switched off after a bleed on the brain became too severe for surgery, she said.
Bristol County District Attorney is investigating the incident at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA.
Jennifer said: "I was in shock and horror over how catastrophic her injuries were.
"She had a broken nose, the entire right side of her face and jaw were broken as well as multiple fractures to her head.
"The doctor called and said she got into an altercation with a nurse and she tried to hit the nurse and fell.
"How do you fall and break multiple parts of your face and head?"
Mum-of-four Carol was taken to hospital via ambulance after had a fall inside her home on July 30.
She was a victim of a violent attack in 2009 and sustained a head injury which made her unstable and susceptible to falls.
Carol had another fall in hospital while trying to make her own way to the toilet and was scheduled in for an MRI.
Daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Makayla, 14, went in to visit Carol on August 1 and said she had no visible injuries. But the next day, she received a devastating phone call.
Real estate saleswoman Jennifer said: "We had calls saying things have taken a tragic turn and my mum got into an altercation with a nurse, she tried to hit her and my mum fell."
Jennifer raced to the hospital from her home in Attleboro to visit her stricken mum, but was horrified by the sight that confronted her.
"When I got there I was in shock, I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see," she said.
"My mum was crying and I said 'what happened to my mum?'
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"I turned to the woman standing there – a staff member – and my mum said 'don't talk to her she will kill you, look what she did to me, she beat me'."
She asked hospital staff whether any cameras had caught what had happened, but was told there was no CCTV in any of the rooms.
Carol had suffered a brain bleed and transferred to the Intensive Care Unit and scheduled for brain surgery at Boston Medical Center.
The bleed became too severe to operate, and the grandmother-of-seven was taken off life support just after 11pm that evening.
Sturdy Memorial Hospital said it completed its own internal investigation and concluded that its staff followed all protocols in the care of Ms. Smith.
Bristol County District Attorney confirmed there was an active investigation and they had no further comment to make at this time.
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