95-year-old Lucille Gittens was forced to leave the home she had lived in with her son and his family for thirty years.
Sybil Gittens: "I felt helpless, I couldn't help her, I couldn't do anything."
Tecia Gittens: "It was very disturbing. My grandmother was like my best friend."
The court stepped in and appointed a guardian after a family disagreement over the mother's finances.
Keith Gittens: "Ninety percent of families have family squabbles, I'm sure you're aware of that, but that doesn't mean it has to reach this level of making a drastic decision like this for no reason."
He says first the guardian took over his mother's estate and eventually took her out of her home and put her in a group facility.
Keith Gittens: "The legal system is so complex that you can spend all your time and all your money and get nowhere."
Keith says he could find no one to independently to investigate his concerns about what was happening with his mother.
Keith Gittens: "There's too much power given in this guardianship program, there's no checks and balances really."
Avril Schuckman says her mother had a picture-perfect life, but her last hours were a nightmare.
Avril Schuckman: "My mother suffered desperately. I think it was the most heinous crime."
Avril says her mother had a do not resuscitate order which her guardian ignored. In fact, the South Florida guardian did not call Avril in Tampa and tell her her mother was dying until four days after she was put on life support.
Avril Schuckman: "She lasted another twenty hours gasping for air. It was the most awful death I've ever seen, it was just tragic."
Avril thought the guardian should have been investigated, but she could find no independent agency to hear her concerns.
Keith Gittens: "I think that the legislature should look at the entire guardianship program and revamp it."
Avril and Keith are not alone. Nationwide, so many families are upset about the treatment of loved ones they've organized.
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Carmel on the Case - Guardian
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