While his caretakers watched him die, William Hughes shivered under the covers in a cramped and dirty bedroom.
They didn’t give him food. They didn’t give him water. Despite doctor’s orders, they never gave him the very medicine that would have saved his life.
Instead, they let him languish for days at the Tampa assisted-living facility where he lived in 2006 -- vomiting and defecating in his bed -- refusing to clean him because the stench was too strong.
Despite pleas from residents that he desperately needed help, caretakers never called paramedics to try to save the severely diabetic man.
“They let this man just die,” said resident Kevin Conway. “It just boggles my mind to this day.”
Hughes’ body was sent to the Hillsborough County morgue and cremated at state expense -- his ashes sent to his mother in Ohio, the state investigation closed.
The 55-year-old musician was among dozens who have died at the hands of their caretakers in assisted-living facilities across Florida.
One starved to death, another burned in a tub of scalding water. Two were fed lethal doses of drugs. Three died from the ravages of gangrene when their wounds were ignored for weeks.
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Neglected to Death: Few Ever Held Accountable for Abuse in Florida's Assisted Living Facilities