Hospice home in West Palm Beach under investigation

James McCollum Jr. and his father,James McCollum Sr. (WPEC)

It’s the story that made headlines nationwide, sparking rule changes and a criminal investigation that remains underway right now.

Fourteen patients died because a Hollywood rehabilitation center's central air conditioning failed when the power went out during Hurricane Irma.

Now that tragedy is bringing a spotlight to nursing homes and care facilities across the state, including Royal Palm Beach.

James McCollum Jr. believes a hospice care facility neglected his elderly father, causing his death.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirms there is an active investigation into the facility.

McCollum says his father’s health deteriorated quickly in late September and the state in which McCollum found his father leads him to believe that hospice neglected him.

James McColllum Sr. was a World War II veteran who served in the Navy.

“A man who works hard all his life, doesn’t deserve to go out like this,” McCollum said. “I miss him.”

His father was staying at a hospice care home in West Palm Beach provided through a program at the VA.

“We thought everything was going good until we got the call from Palm West Hospital saying you’ve got to get up here,” McCollum said.

In late September, McCollum's father was rushed to the ER.

The hospital report shows McCollum Sr. was found in his bed at the hospice center with filthy linens and multiple small bugs crawling on him.

He also had dried food in his throat and his urine bag was full.

Hospice workers did not want to go on camera, but confirmed the facility has been shut down for the time being.

They stand by giving good care and say McCollum Sr.’s health was already deteriorating.

“I just want justice for my dad and to see whoever is liable to be punished,” McCollum said.

The VA declined to comment on the case.

McCollum is looking to get a private autopsy done on his father.

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