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Bedridden woman faces COVID-19 outbreak, family says

Family: Cami Smedley, who is in a long-term facility, has tested positive for coronavirus

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman is in a long-term care facility and is facing a COVID-19 outbreak, her family said.

Cami Smedley’s family said the 29-year-old is immobile after a car accident, and now she’s tested positive for the coronavirus.

Kent Smedley, Cami Smedley’s father, said her brain injury is so severe that she can’t move voluntarily, so the family believes she got the virus from staff.

Family members said she’s been transported from the facility to hospitals multiple times in the last few weeks, and they’re worried that the progress they’ve made with her health is declining because of the virus.

“Cami, I love you very much, and we all do,” Kent Smedley said. “We can’t wait to come see you. The boys are doing very well, and your mom loves you very much. We just can’t wait to get back to you when it’s safe to do so.”

Kent Smedley sent that message to Cami Smedley, who after a near-fatal car accident in 2015, is unable to move or communicate and is bedridden at Fouraker Hills Nursing and Rehab Center in Jacksonville.

“She seems to be getting pretty good care, but we would like to be able to be there and let her know everything is OK at work with her like we usually do,” he explained.

Her family and her two young boys said they haven’t seen her in person since the shutdown in March and haven’t seen her over phone chat in nearly two months.

Kent Smedley said getting answers or communication from the facility has been inconsistent.

That is until three weeks ago when the family learned she had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I’m wondering what they’re actually doing to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 transmission there, because if she got it, it must’ve been from one of her caregivers,” Kent Smedley said.

As of Monday morning, the Florida Department of Health was reporting six residents tested positive at Fouraker Hills, seven residents who tested positive were transferred and three staff members were positive.

“I think it’s very devastating for a lot of the people in those facilities that rely on visits from family and friends to kind of help them just deal with life in general at this point, and this virus has certainly made it more difficult,” Kent Smedley said.

News4Jax reached out to the facility, asking about testing and isolation practices, but had not heard back as of Monday afternoon.

Kent Smedley said there aren’t many resources available for people who have similar cases to his daughter’s.

“Someone her age, there’s just not many options. It’s either a nursing facility or home care, and she’s beyond the ability of anyone to take care of her at home,” he said.

Her family members said when they could visit, Cami Smedley would respond with her hands, and they said she responds well to therapy.

Her mother even got a massage therapy license to help.

But they said, recently, they don’t know if she’s been getting the therapy she needs and if it has been consistent.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account for Cami Smedley’s medical care.


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