Local News

DHHS investigating death of Cherry Hospital patient

Posted February 9, 2010
Updated October 1, 2010

— The state Department of Health and Human Services is investigating the death of a Cherry Hospital mental health patient.

Lawrence Russell Jr., 80, died on Feb. 2 at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Goldsboro.

Russell was transported from Cherry to Wayne Memorial after choking while eating. The Heimlich maneuver was performed prior to the transport but Russell remained unresponsive.

The day before Russell choked, he was physically restrained by Cherry Hospital staff, according to a DHHS report. No complications were reported at the time of the restraint, the report states.


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  • mulecitybabe Feb 9, 2010

    Wrong, Princess. Bev only wants to be transparent what SHE wants to be transparent. If anything reflects poorly on her or her appointees she would just as soon things remain a little murky.

  • carolinaprincess62 Feb 9, 2010

    It is a State Regulation that anytime anything like this happens within 7 days of restraint or therapeutic hold, it has to be reported and investigated.
    It's on the news because the Governor wants complete transperancy in all ares of the State.

  • Nunya123 Feb 9, 2010

    80 year man dies from chocking on something he was eating and it is somehow the hospitals fault? They appear to have done what they needed. Heimlich and called 911 and transported to the hospital. What else should they have done????

  • anneonymousone Feb 9, 2010

    From the article, is it possible to know what happened? The man may have had a genetic malformation of the throat that may have contributed to his choking and subsequent death. He may have had an unpredictable allergic response to something.

    Don't get me wrong; if abuse and/or neglect is part of this story, then there is no excuse, but proximity does not equal causality, folks.

    If I ate pizza before I got into a car accident, that does not necessarily mean that the pzza has anything to do with the accident.

  • nic Feb 9, 2010

    Here we go again. They just can't manage to get it together over there.

  • samiam1244 Feb 9, 2010

    Maybe they should just close the place down. this is not the first time someone has been neglected or died..