‘We feel helpless’: Family of COVID-19 patient at nursing home concerned about care he’s receiving after fatal outbreak

Family of 50-year-old Jerry Garcia said he learned of deadly outbreak while watching the news

SAN ANTONIO – The family of a Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center resident who tested positive for COVID-19 last week said they are concerned that he is not receiving proper care as he and dozens of other people inside the facility attempt to recover from the deadly virus.

Jerry Garcia, 50, tested positive for the virus last week at the nursing home in the 4300 block of E. Southcross, according to his family. As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 70 residents and staff members at the location have tested positive for the virus and city officials confirmed that eight residents have died so far from complications related to COVID-19.

“When he told us they tested him and it came back positive it was a reality check. Because you’re seeing the news and its happening to everyone else. But here it struck home,” said Lillian Ramirez, Garcia’s older sister.

RELATED: Nursing home with 70+ COVID-19 patients fined $68,000, cited for 28 violations in 2019

Garcia, who has shown only mild symptoms, including a sore throat, is a multiple-stroke survivor who also suffers from eczema and congestive heart failure, his family said.

He communicates with his family via telephone and text message, since visitors have been barred the past month from visiting the Southeast Side facility.

The family claimed Tuesday that Garcia received a shower, the first time he was bathed since March 17, as the facility contends with dwindling staff numbers.

“There’s definitely help needed there. We don’t believe they’re properly being cared for,” said Ramirez, who added that she received a text from Garcia claiming that additional staff members were brought in from out of town.


About the Authors: