A morbidly obese Georgia woman was found this week by firefighters, bedridden and covered in so much filth that cockroaches were crawling over her own feces and maggots were eating blackened, decayed flesh from her body, WXIA-TV (Atlanta) is reporting.
For the second time in a month, firefighters were called to an apartment in the Atlanta suburb of Sugar Hill following reports of an unconscious woman. In the earlier case, firefighters found the morbidly obese woman lying on a bed. Her condition at that time, and why the firefighters made the decision to transport her to a hospital, are not clear. Nevertheless, transport her to a hospital they did, using a tarp -- called a "Mega Mover" -- used to transport obese people.
Again on March 15, firefighters were called back to the home. This time, according to Gwinnett Fire's reports, the woman was lying on the exact same tarp on which she had been moved a month earlier. The tarp, which was white when the firefighters first used it, had turned black, presumably from the woman's feces. Meanwhile, the woman's flesh was blackened and decaying in some places, with maggots eating the dead flesh from the woman's still-living body. Cockroaches were crawling over the woman's feces.
The woman's bedroom and the rest of the house were described as "filthy," with piles of empty energy drink cans two feet high, garbage covering the home's floors, cockroaches crawling on every surface of the home.
The woman's son, Christian Sorrell, and his father, Terry Sorrell, told firefighters they were the woman's only caretakers.
The men allegedly told firefighters they were unemployed and that money in the home was "tight." Further, they told workers that the woman had been bedridden for two years and was "getting worse."
Both men were arrested and charged with neglect of a disabled or elderly person.
Florida's Agency for Persons With Disabilities warns that the disabled are often at risk for abuse and neglect. The agency also lists the following signs to look for if you suspect a disabled person is being abused or neglected (this list is not exhaustive).
- Poor or improper hygiene
- A smell of urine or feces on the person
- Clutter, filth, or bad smell in the home
- Poor skin condition or skin breakdown (such as rashes, bedsores, or open wounds)
- Lack of necessary adaptive aids such as glasses, hearing aids, leg braces walkers etc. or improper medication management