ATTLEBORO (CBS) — Covered in bruises and blood, Carol Smith’s family says Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro told them she fell in the hallway.
“I showed up at the hospital when I got into the room, I screamed, ‘What happened? What happened to my mother?'” said Jennifer Shannon, Smith’s daughter. “Her whole entire right side of her face was swollen. The front of her nose looked like it had been broken. They didn’t even tend to her for this large cut on the front of her face.”
The injuries were serious, and police got involved after hearing a claim her daughter says Carol made about a staff member.
“She said, ‘The woman standing in that room beat her.’ She clearly said to me, ‘That woman beat me,'” Jennifer said.
The I-Team contacted the Attleboro Police Department about the allegations and were told they were unable to comment on the investigation.
The family says this all started on Friday, July 30. The 77-year-old grandmother was admitted to Sturdy Memorial after falling at home and injuring her back.
Jennifer says she went to see her mom at the hospital on Sunday and brought her flowers and clothes. Carol was complaining about her back, but Jennifer says she did not have any cuts, bruises or injuries.
But, the next day, Jennifer says she got a call from a doctor at the hospital.
“‘Your mother had an altercation or an incident with one of the nurses. She tried to hit them, and your mother fell,'” said Jennifer, reliving the phone call. “I immediately said, ‘Where are the cameras? Where’s the video footage? I want to see what happened to my mother.'”
Jennifer says she was told there was no cameras on that part of the floor.
This wasn’t the first time Carol suffered serious head injuries. In 2009, she was brutally beaten by a boyfriend and needed brain surgery. Carol later developed medical issues that made her a risk for falling.
This time, doctors told the family Carol had a brain bleed. Despite being transferred to a Boston hospital, her injuries were catastrophic and Carol died.
Jennifer says she bought her mom a beautiful dress to wear in heaven.
“I wanted her to feel like an angel. She loved [the TV Show] ‘The Golden Girls’. And my daughter and her would sit and watch ‘The Golden Girls’ all the time. This reminded me of what ‘The Golden Girls’ would wear in Florida.”
Heartbroken that she never got a chance to say goodbye, Jennifer is demanding to know the truth about how her mother died.
“If they told you, ‘Your mother fell,’ and her face looked like that, would you accept it if that was your mother? I know you wouldn’t accept that if it was your mother.”
The Bristol County District Attorney says it is investigating Carol’s death and is awaiting autopsy results.
The I-Team also contacted Sturdy Memorial Hospital. In a statement, they told the I-Team that due to HIPAA regulations and patient privacy, it was unable to speak on this matter.