An elderly woman receiving care at an assisted living facility was found to have an infestation of maggots residing in her ear, prompting an investigation by local health officials.
The woman, 92-year old Catherine McCann, is afflicted with severe Alzheimer's, rendering her unable to speak and care for herself. She was a patient at Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights outside of Chicago when it was revealed that her left ear was inundated with maggots.
"I was horrified, shocked," her husband, John McCann, told CBS. "I thought it was terrible. I'm paying all this money for that kind of care- no way."
McCann stated that he pays $10,000 per month to have his wife cared for, and with this recent discovery, he has filed a lawsuit against the assisted living facility for emotional distress and negligence.
"In this case, they allowed Catherine McCann to have a fly get into her ear canal, lay eggs and hatch 57 maggots," attorney Henry Gruss, who filed the lawsuit, said in a statement.
Gruss explained that McCann had an enlarged ear canal that was the result of a previous surgery which required care takers to flush her ear periodically to prevent the development of an infection.
Nine days before the maggots were seen, McCann received treatment for wax buildup. Her prescription called her to receive ear drops four times a day.
"I'm questioning whether or not she received the medication in that left ear during this time. Because how can you put drops of medicine in an ear that has 57 maggots?" said Gruss.
McCann was taken to Northwest Community Hospital, where doctors were able to remove both maggots and larvae from her ear and documented the procedure as well.
Gruss stated that he had the maggot specimens sent to an expert, which subsequently concluded that the maggots in their present form had been in her ear canal for up to three days.
Her family has since relocated her to another assisted care facility while they proceed forward with their pending lawsuit.
Lutheran Home for the Aged in Arlington Heights does not have a history of violations, but they were fined $1,100 by city health officials, according to WBBM.