Hurricane Irma: Two more Florida nursing home patients die

Hollywood, Fla., police said two more patients of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have died after the facility lost power in the wake of Hurricane Irma. The death toll increased to 14. Photo courtesy Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills

Oct. 10 (UPI) — Two more people evacuated from a sweltering Florida nursing home in the wake of Hurricane Irma died, police investigating the deaths announced Monday.

Hollywood, Fla., police said Cecilia Franco, 90, died early Monday morning and Francesca Andrade, 95, died in the afternoon. Police are now investigating the deaths of 14 people who died after a power outage at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills left the facility without air conditioning.

Franco’s husband, Miguel Antonio Franco, was one of the first patients to die at the facility before patients were evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital across the street. Eight patients died at the nursing home Sept. 13, three days after Hurricane Irma struck the state.

“The Franco and Navarro families are now mourning the passing of their mother and grandmother Cecilia Franco, this on the heels of losing her husband of 61 years, their father and grandfather Miguel Franco, both of whom perished in a horrific avoidable tragedy which should never have occurred,” Albert Levin, attorney for daughter Margarita Navarro, said in a statement. “Their pain cuts deeply having lost not one but two loved ones.”

The Florida Department of Law enforcement was investigating what led to the deaths.

Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration on Sept. 20 said it suspended the nursing home’s license. A week earlier, it stopped the facility from admitting new patients.

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