By Mike Kruzman /

UPDATE: Mary Anne (Moore) Catlin died on April 14th. Her family says it was from COVID-19.

The family of a nursing home resident who contracted COVID-19 is upset with the facility for not being up front and honest about their accepting of infected patients and the risks they have put on people’s loved ones.

Ashley Cooke of Durand says her grandmother, Mary Catlin, is a resident of Medilodge of Livingston in Howell. She says she and her family got a call a couple days ago from Medilodge alerting them that her grandmother, after suffering a fever for 3 days, was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. This came as a shock to the family, as they were led to believe through the nursing home’s website and Facebook page that the facility had no cases. The latest virus update on their website (dated March 18th, but still posted as of Friday) confirms this. Upon investigating, Cooke learned that when her grandmother had been moved to another room two weeks ago without an explanation, the reason was to make room for hospital patients recovering from coronavirus to be moved in. When asked why they weren’t notified about infected patients coming in, Cooke said the administrator said they notified families, including her aunt. Cooke said her aunt wasn’t made aware until the positive diagnosis came down.

She told WHMI her family is worried that they aren’t being told the whole story. Cooke said, “We’re scared we’re not even being told grandma’s real condition. Because when I talked to my grandma, she could barely form a sentence and talk to me. When my sister talked to my grandma, she could barely talk to my sister. When my aunt finally got a hold of grandma, my grandma couldn’t talk. The nurse had to take her phone cause my grandma couldn’t talk.”

When trying to reach her grandmother Friday, Cooke says she keeps getting put on hold, told her grandmother was asleep, or that they are really busy and swamped. She said she’s always being put on hold, given excuse after excuse. Cook said she can’t trust Medilodge is telling them the truth when they have withheld so much information up to this point. She says the family recently learned her grandmother was put on oxygen and given someone else’s medication because hers didn’t arrive on time. Cooke said she knows there are others with family there that have no idea this is going on, too, through conversations on Facebook, including having people directly message her saying they weren’t told anything prior to a positive test result, either. She told WHMI, “I am so mad, I can’t stop shaking. I’m so upset. And on their website it just says how protecting the most at-risk people, which is their residents, is their number one priority.”

WHMI reached out to Medilodge of Livingston for comment and received the following statement from their Media Director Bill Gray;

Medilodge of Livingston, like many long term care providers throughout the nation, is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and caring for positively tested residents. In serving the needs of our community, we prepared in advance for the outbreak knowing that we would need to assist our local hospitals in accepting COVID-19 patients in the recovery cycle of the disease process. We are following all of the CDC and CMS guidelines, maintaining regular communication with the Health Department, and have the necessary supplies, personal protective equipment, and amazing staff, who we are extremely proud of, to meet this challenge head on. Due to the state ordered restrictions on visitors which is so frustrating for our residents and their families, we have employed Facility Support Advocates dedicated to providing support to residents, which includes assisting with video chats with their families, and anything we can to do help them. Medilodge of Livingston is also proud to specialize in respiratory care with Respiratory Therapists and nursing staff specifically trained and dedicated to address the respiratory health issues certain residents have; something that is rather unique in the long term care setting and recognized by the State of Michigan. While we cannot get into specific details due to strict confidentiality laws, we are happy to soon be discharging some of our residents who have fully recovered from COVID-19.