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The entrance sign at Life Care Center of Cheyenne is seen Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, just north of Frontier Mall. Nadav Soroker/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – Life Care Center of Cheyenne and its associated companies are being sued by a local man who allegedly suffered injuries post-surgery after staying in its care.

Edward Ziolkowski is suing the center, which is a nursing home that provides services such as post-surgery care, and its associated companies, Life Care Centers of America and Cheyenne Operations LLC.

Ziolkowski is being represented by the law firm Platte River Injury Law, and calls to his attorney for comment weren’t returned. Bryan Merrell, senior executive director of the center, provided the Wyoming Tribune Eagle with a statement by email.

“Residents are our highest priority at Life Care Center of Cheyenne,” he said in the statement. “We have recently been made aware of a lawsuit being filed against our facility by the family of a former resident who was receiving care at our facility in June 2017.

“Due to the pending legal action, as well as HIPAA, we cannot provide specific information on the resident or the resident’s time at our facility. While this case is pending, we will continue to focus on providing quality and compassionate care to our patients.”

The court case is seeking damages, and the amount will be set by the court, if Life Care is proven negligent.

According to court documents:

Ziolkowski stayed at the nursing home from May 30 through June 6, 2017, to receive rehabilitative and post-surgery care after his spine operation.

Prior to his stay at the center, Ziolkowski had back problems that were restricting his movement around his home, though he was still able to live independently. On May 27, 2017, he decided to undergo surgery at Cheyenne Regional Medical Center by the Wyoming Spine and Neurosurgery Associates doctor’s office.

According to his physician, the surgery was a success, and he was sent to the nursing home to recover.

“His family anticipated that after a short stay at defendant’s facility, Mr. Ziolkowski would return in better health, with better mobility than he had prior to the back surgery,” the case said.

Ziolkowski’s physician directed the nursing home to clean, dress and monitor Ziolkowski’s surgery wound, manage his post-surgery medications and make sure he was getting adequate nutrition.

The case alleges the nursing home didn’t monitor or routinely change Ziolkowski’s bandages, didn’t make sure he had enough fluids and didn’t give him the required medications.

His family noticed Ziolkowski’s health began declining a few days into his stay at the nursing home.

On June 6, 2017, Ziolkowski was admitted to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s emergency room. His doctor noticed he was vomiting and looked ill. The doctor became concerned about sepsis related to a wound infection.

Ziolkowski was supposed to be taking antibiotics post-surgery that were prescribed by his doctor, but the center failed to give them to him, according to the lawsuit. He was also given too many pain medications by the nursing home staff.

His doctor noted Ziolkowski “had wound drainage which has not been addressed at Life Care, and the patient has been overly sedated with medications.”

CRMC doctors found that Ziolkowski was dehydrated, had an infected wound, suffering from renal failure and other health complications.

Isabella Alves is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at ialves@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter @IsabellaAlves96.

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