TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL) — Battling a number of health issues including COVID-19, a Turlock man says if he hadn’t taken action he believes he would have died at the Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Aaron Harlan said he suffers from diabetes, congestive heart failure and other health issues. But he told FOX40 nothing scared him more than his weeks-long stay at the center.
“I was pleading for my life and I just said, ‘I want out of here,’” said Harlan.
According to Covenant Care, there have been a total of 18 COVID-19 related deaths among residents.
“Not clean. Nobody was wearing mask or gloves all the time,” said Harlan.
After his toe was amputated March 12, Harlan’s doctors thought the best remedy was to recover at the center. But Harlan said he was concerned from day one.
The center reported a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on April 20. That was the first case.
They add that the last time the employee worked was April 14 and they had been wearing a surgical mask. Days later, Harlan said he found out he was also infected.
“I thought that was a death sentence right there,” said Harlan.
According to Harlan, he was asymptomatic and isolated in a private room. The room was in another wing of the center but that did nothing to ease his fears.
“I heard at least four people die in my area because I’d hear the speakers go off and they’d say, ‘Code blue,’” said Harlan.
He soon pleaded with staff to let him recover at home but he claimed they threatened to arrest him and anyone who helped.
“I said, ‘Why can’t I just go home and self-isolate like you did to everyone one of your employees that tested positive?’” recounted Harlan. “And they said, ‘Because you’re a resident. You’re under different rules.”
That wasn’t all, however, Harlan says the end of his quarantine kept getting pushed back.
“They’ve lied to me, they’ve lied to me, they’ve lied to me,” said Harlan. “They’ve lied to me again and now, I’m being told that I’m gonna be in there for an indefinite period of time.”
Through an appeal, Harlan was able to walk out May 8.
He said life is much better now even though he faces a number of health issues.
“It’s hell but at least I got something to look forward to now. I’m home,” said Harlan. “I’m with my family. I feel that my recovery time is gonna be a heck of a lot faster.”
FOX40 has reached out to Covenant Care to ask about Harlan’s claims, but they say HIPAA laws prevent them from speaking.