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My eldest brother Andrew, who we called Jr., was in Florissant Valley Health & Rehabilitation Center. The center had been closed to all visitors to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so we weren’t able to see him. My dad was very concerned because he hadn’t heard from him, no one had. This was very unusual because Jr. called my dad and everyone else constantly. Since Jr. wasn’t answering his cell phone, my dad tried calling the phone at the center. My dad explained that he hadn’t been able to talk to his son for the past couple of days and he was worried. My dad asked if Jr. was okay and they said that he was okay and that they would give him the message. One day my brother, Bryan, called me and said he was sitting on the Rehab Center’s parking lot trying to contact Jr., but no one would help him. I told him where Jr.’s bedroom window was and said for him to knock on his window. He knocked, didn’t get an answer, so he turned around to leave. Bryan said as he turned to leave, the window blind suddenly shot all the way up and shook. Bryan was able to see my brother Jr. motionless in bed. Jr. picked his head up and turned toward the window then his head fell back down. Bryan tapped harder on the window calling Jr.’s name and asking him if he was sick. Bryan told me that Jr. was lethargic and that he didn’t appear to recognize him. One of the workers saw the blind and Bryan at the window, so she put on a gown and gloves and entered the room. Bryan asked her to pick up the phone and call him. When she called, she only said Jr. had pneumonia and had been diagnosed that morning. They hadn’t notified us of his illness. We had them call an ambulance to send him to Barnes Jewish Hospital. As soon as he made it there, he was placed on a ventilator and diagnosed with Covid-19 the following day. Jr.’s family, friends, and fellow church members prayed daily for his total healing and restoration. After 2 weeks, Jr. passed without his family by his side and without hearing any words of love and encouragement from us. I was determined to make other families aware of the tragedy we endured from the negligence of the Rehab Center so I contacted Channel 4 News in St. Louis, MO and shared Jr.’s story.

Linda Hodges, Missouri 

Men on a black and white collage