Rehab facility has history of patients wandering away
Posted November 14, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — After a man went missing earlier this month from a Raleigh rehab center, leaders there are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Adam Root's story ended in happy hugs. He wandered away from a Learning Services facility in Raleigh where he was being treated for a severe brain injury. He was found safe five hours later.
"Accidents happen, and this was just an accident," his wife, Amy Root, said Monday.
Amy Root met with administrators at Learning Services and learned that he walked out of the front door during a shift change.
For Bebe Snyder, the story did not have such a happy ending.
"I was so grateful that they were able to find that guy," she said. Her husband, Tim, wandered away a Learning Services center in Durham in 2004. He was missing for four days.
"He had frozen to death. He was a block and a half away," Bebe Snyder said.
Tim Snyder's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Learning Services and settled for $2.5 million.
"Clearly they did not learn their lesson. Clearly they still have major problems," Bebe Snyder said. "Why are they still in business?"
Amy Root said despite the problem, she will bring her husband back to Learning Services.
"I know a lot of people aren't going to understand why I am returning, but it's truly one of the best facilities I've ever researched that Adam has ever participated in," she said. "I know that we've made the right decision for my family."
Amy Root says Learning Services plans to put a device on her husband that will make a sound if he walks out the door. She also says a special bracelet with Adam Root's name will be given to the worker in charge of his care, so that he isn't overlooked during a shift change.
Learning Services President and CEO David Carter said that the company is investigating what occurred with Adam Root but said he could not give specifics on the incident.
According to state records, Learning Services, which specializes in caring for people with brain injuries, has been investigated multiple times for deficiencies by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The company was fined $2,000 for not responding appropriately when a patient had a seizure and later died its Creedmoor facility. Records show the company was also cited for not properly supervising a patient at its Durham location and for not having a registered nurse on duty at the Raleigh location.