Paralyzed Teen Dies From Bedsores So Deep They Exposed Organs, Parents Charged With Neglect

A couple from Indiana has been charged with neglect and two Department of Child Services workers have been fired after an 18-year-old paralyzed girl died from bone-deep bedsores. The teen died wearing nothing but a diaper while covered in bedsores in a filthy, roach-infested home. DCS workers had visited the teen just six days before her horrific death, giving her health and home conditions positive reviews.

Fox59 reports that John and Lavonne Kelley face charges of neglect resulting in serious bodily injury after their 18-year-old daughter, Linda Kelley, died after the couple failed to provide proper medical care. The Kelleys were arrested yesterday, six months after Linda passed away from acute and chronic bedsores. The Marion County Deputy Prosecutor notes that the arrest was withheld until the autopsy report was complete.

The teen suffered from spina bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. When the emergency crews responded to the call about Linda, they said they found the girl laying in the kitchen floor wearing only a diaper. She had numerous open sores across her body and the home was described as “unsanitary.” It was noted that the house had piles of garbage, cockroaches and dog feces throughout.

“The Marion County coroner’s office determined the cause of death was acute and chronic bedsores, some of which were so deep they exposed bone and organs. Poor hygiene was listed as a contributory factor.”

Juvenile Court Judge Marilyn Moores said the case was the “most disturbing” case she had ever seen “without doubt.” The Daily Mail notes that DCS workers had been called to investigate the home on several occasions including in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2012. The home was deemed unsanitary and it was also noted that Linda was not receiving proper medical care. The family was required to clean up the home.

“The department entered into a judge-approved agreement with the family to clean up the conditions, bring in a pest exterminator, attend all doctors’ appointments and re-enroll the teenager in school. The couple apparently met the terms of their agreement and the case closed in mid-July, although Carter and Damar Services workers went for the final meeting on July 29.”

Sadly, just six days prior to the teen’s death, a DCS worker gave one final home visit which resulted in positive reviews. Subsequently, DCS fired two department employees, the case worker and her supervisor, for failing to follow policies to insure the safety of a child.

John and Lavonne Kelley claim that the paralyzed teen refused to go to the hospital for the bedsores or allow anyone to turn her over. However, doctors note that Linda would have been unable to care for herself and would have relied entirely on her parents for care.