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SE Care Center nursing aide faces charges after resident dies

SLEEPY EYE — A part-time Sleepy Eye Care Center nursing assistant faces two charges including intentional neglect of a vulnerable adult and mistreatment of a resident after a nursing home resident died of injuries in a suspected fall last September.

Charges of gross misdemeanor criminal neglect and mistreatment of residents or patients were filed June 11 in Brown County District Court against Prince Nyamekyeh Adarkwah, 43, 118 Edgewood Dr., Redwood Falls. A remote Zoom court hearing was set for 8:30 a.m. June 30 in Brown County District Court.

According to court documents, Sleepy Eye Police were contacted by the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center (MAARC) Oct. 2, 2019 about alleged abuse of a vulnerable adult at the Sleepy Eye Care Center (SECC). The alleged perpetrator was Adarkwah.

The MAARC report indicated the victim fell, hit his head and side, suffering a contusion on the right side of his head and possible broken ribs. He was transferred to the Sleepy Eye Medical Center, where he died 36 hours later.

The resident’s injuries included severe bruising to the right frontal head, causing a brain bleed and a collapsed lung that ultimately caused his death.

On Oct. 21, 2019, the MAARC report reporter and executor of the victim’s estate and health care representative, identified as Witness 1, told Sleepy Eye Police he got a call from a Sleepy Eye Care Center nurse on Sept. 27, 2019, and was told the victim fell out of his chair in his room and hit his side and head.

Witness 1 called a second witness who went to the SECC and asked if an ambulance was requested. Staff said they were doing that now. The second witness said it didn’t seem right when he learned the fall happened in the tub room and that they felt the injuries were significant, yet staff was able to get the victim cleaned up, put in pajamas and into bed.

The first witness told police the victim’s doctor felt the injuries were severe for falling out of a chair and thought the situation was “fishy.”

Police contacted Adarkwah on Oct. 21, 2019 and asked him if he would provide a statement. Adarkwah said he would like to talk to human resources first and was working in Marshall. He later dropped off a written statement at the Sleepy Eye Police Department.

On Nov. 2, 2019, police talked to a third witness who said the SECC Director of Nursing told them Adarkwah put the victim in his wheelchair with “no strap, no nothing, then turned around to wipe up something and when he turned back, he saw him on the floor.”

Police talked to a fourth witness who said she was coming down the hall the night of the fall and saw Adarkwah poke his head out of the shower room, calling for another certified nursing assistant. She said she asked him what he was doing and was told he needed help.

The fourth witness went inside and saw the victim on the floor, leaning up against the wheelchair and notice a forehead abrasion. She said they used a Hoyer lift to get the victim into bed. She said Adarkwah told her one story, then a whole different story and she thought he was trying to “cover it up.”

Adarkwah later provided a statement to Sleepy Eye Police. He said he took the victim to the tub room, give him a bath, removed him from the tub and put him in a wheelchair. He said he was cleaning up, putting towels in a container when he heard a sound, turned around and found the victim on the floor.

Adarkwah said he didn’t have a radio because it was charging, he opened the door and shouted for help but no one came. He said he started hitting the door and screaming for help, saying the victim was a heavy person.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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