Grandaughter of Mount Carmel Grove City legionnaire’s disease victim wants answers

Local News

GROVE CITY (WCMH) — While county and state health officials work with Mount Carmel Grove City leaders to identify the source of the bacteria that has caused an outbreak of legionnaire’s disease, a woman says her grandmother is one of the seven patients diagnosed with the disease.

Cricket Miller’s 90-year-old grandmother was admitted to Mount Carmel Grove City on May 18. Two days later, Miller said, Lillian “Nanny” Lyle was discharged, but her condition worsened.

“She was very weak, very dizzy and she got to the point where she couldn’t even get out of bed,” Miller said. “She said, ‘Do you think you could get me a catheter?’ I said, ‘No, if you need a catheter, we need to go to the emergency room.'”

Miller said Lyle was readmitted to Mount Carmel Grove City, where a nurse told her that Lyle had contracted legionnaire’s disease. Shortly thereafter, Miller learned Lyle was not the only patient to receive that diagnosis.

“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “You can’t believe that she would be one of seven people out of everyone that’s been through that hospital in the first month that it’s been open, that she would be one of the seven.”

As of Monday night, Miller said Lyle remained at Mount Carmel Grove City, but that she wanted her grandmother moved, either to a rehab facility or another hospital, by the end of the day Tuesday.

“She won’t be at Mount Carmel tomorrow night,” she said. “This time tomorrow, she won’t be at Mount Carmel.”

Miller provided NBC4 with an email, documenting her correspondence regarding legionnaire’s disease with Franklin County Public Health officials.

She said she wants to know why the outbreak wasn’t prevented.

“No one in their right mind would’ve thought that by taking someone over there, that there’s going to be a problem like this because it’s a brand new facility,” she said. “Everything over there should have been checked, rechecked, tested and retested. Everything should have been signed off on before the first patient was admitted into that hospital. It’s beyond frustrating.”

NBC4 asked a Mount Carmel spokeswoman about what testing was done in the building, prior to its opening. She said she will look into this.

On Sunday, the hospital released the following statement regarding the only patient who was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s disease, and later died:

“We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of the patients who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease passed away today. Out of respect for the family’s privacy and in keeping with patient privacy laws, we are not discussing the specifics and complexities of patient information. We can say that it’s too early to determine the final cause of death. For most people, the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease is low; however, individuals with chronic, underlying medical conditions are at increased risk.

Currently, we’re working with county and state health officials to identify the source of the bacteria. We’ve taken several steps to protect our patients, staff and visitors, including implementing extensive water restrictions. We are running additional tests on water sources throughout Mount Carmel Grove City, and our entire water supply is undergoing supplemental disinfection. We’re confident that we can safely maintain full services of the hospital.

If an individual has been hospitalized and developed cough, muscle aches, headaches, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care physician. Members of the public who have questions or  would like more information can call 614-265-8111.”

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