57 Maggots Removed From Nursing Home Resident’s Ear

Arlington Heights, IL – 57 maggots were removed from the ear of a nursing home resident at the Lutheran Home for the Aged. According to CBS, husband John McCann was paying $10,000 a month for skilled nursing home senior assistance for his wife, 92 year old Catherine McCann. Catherine had severe Alzheimer’s, was unable to speak or care for herself, and the only way she could indicate her ear was infested with maggots was to tug at her earlobes.

Catherine McCann has an enlarged ear canal from a surgery performed decades ago and has required periodic flushing of the ear, or antibiotics, for infections. The nursing home says Catherine was receiving her regularly treatment up to the maggot infestation, although now the family questions whether she received her medication at all.

Nursing home officials speculate that a fly may have gotten in her ear when Catherine’s private duty caretaker took her outside for a walk. Northwest Community Hospital doctors removed 57 maggots from McCann’s ear while her family listened to her shrieking in pain. An expert sent by the family attorney concluded the maggots had been in her ear for two to three days, at which point they were large enough for nurses to see visibly.

“I was horrified, shocked,” says John McCann, 88, who has spent $270,000 so far to have his wife cared for. “I thought it was terrible. I’m paying all this money for that kind of care — no way.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health found no violations in this case, but the nursing had previously been fined $1,000 for for resident care-related violations. Now, her family is suing the nursing home for emotional distress and negligence.

“In this case, they allowed Catherine McCann to have a fly get into her ear canal, lay eggs and hatch 57 maggots,” says attorney Henry Gruss, who filed the lawsuit. The family had Catherine transferred to another nursing home immediately.