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DHHS investigating death of Cherry Hospital patient

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

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — 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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