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Orange Park Medical Center Sued After Claim Of 'Maggots Crawling Out of Patient's Mouth'

Mooneyham family

The Orange Park Medical Center is being sued by a patient’s family who say her hygiene was dangerously neglected by the hospital.

The suit filed Thursday claims a nurse found maggots crawling out of Dorothy Mooneyham’s mouth.

In November, 76-year-old Mooneyham was admitted to Orange Park Medical Center to remove a cancerous spot in her lung. Doctors expected the procedure to be minor, but she suffered a heart attack shortly after the surgery and was admitted to the intensive care unit.

“Five days after her admission to the intensive care unit, there’s a hospital record that reports that there are maggots coming out of her mouth,” said Frank Ashton, the attorney for her family. “The next morning, December 1st, 2015, they found another maggot on her bed sheet.”

Ahston said the hospital failed in a couple of ways: Staff members should have prevented flies from entering the very sensitive intensive care unit and they should have monitored Mooneyham’s condition more closely.

The Orange Park Medical Center declined an interview request, but in an emailed statement, hospital officials called the allegations “outrageous and inaccurate” and said it will defend itself “vigorously” in court.

MORE | Read Mooneyham's medical records:

MORE | Read the lawsuit

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.