Back pain is no laughing matter, especially when it affects every aspect of your daily life. For many Americans, that's reality - estimates show that almost 16 million people in the US have chronic back pain problems. These are people who have trouble with everyday chores and activities, like driving to work, cooking dinner, and playing with their children. For some, chronic back pain affects their ability to put food on the table and support their families.
And while back problems manifest in physical pain, there's the mental side of the issue too. When you can't live a normal life, anxiety and depression can set in, creating a problem that leads to life-changing medical treatment through addictive medicines and invasive back surgeries. Fortunately, a more reliable, less invasive solution exists for people suffering from issues like pinched nerves, sciatica, lower back pain, and bulging discs.
Seeing a chiropractor in Summerville, SC, from Back 2 Health Physical Medicine may be the long-term answer to your back pain problems. To understand the benefits of seeing a chiropractor, it's important to first understand what chiropractic care can do for your body.
The foundation of chiropractic care comes from the idea that a healthy spine leads to a healthy body. The nerves near the vertebrae that make up the spine can quickly become squeezed when they are out of alignment, leading to a lot of discomfort. The pain and other problems caused by this misalignment can be reduced by restoring natural alignment.
To do so, a chiropractor in Summerville, SC, uses time-tested techniques and a small amount of concentrated pressure to relax joints that have become frozen in troublesome positions, encouraging the natural movement of each vertebra. When the spine is properly aligned, the spinal nerves can transfer signals to and from the brain normally, resulting in a healthy spine and a healthier individual.
Spine health is critically important for every person on earth, as it protects your nervous system and ensures it functions normally. When your spine is degraded, dysfunction often follows, leaving your nervous system lacking and unable to perform at the highest level. On the opposite side of the coin, a flexible, strong, healthy spine with fluid joint motion and proper curvature better protects your nervous system.
Think of it like this: when your spine is misaligned or unhealthy, information from your brain to your nervous system can flow without interruption. But when there's a "kink" in the spine, those communications slow down, almost like when a video is buffering online, and you have to wait for playback. That's where a chiropractor in Summerville, SC, can be incredibly helpful because they can help correct spinal issues and, by proxy, maintain your nervous system.
When your spine is strong and healthy, it provides numerous benefits, including:
At Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, our chiropractors use a variety of adjustment techniques to provide relief from back pain. Some adjustments use a manual approach that involves a "popping" sound, while others do not. No two patients are exactly the same, so we use the techniques that we believe are best for each patient. Some people worry that popping noises during adjustments can damage their spines. However, this noise, known as cavitation, is simply gas released from a joint and is perfectly normal.
In fact, stretching can cause your skeleton to "pop" without you even hearing or feeling it. There are other adjustment techniques that use instruments, specific movements, or a chiropractic table to align the spine. The risk of injury from chiropractic adjustments is negligible when seen by a trained and licensed professional. Chiropractic adjustments are far less risky than many other basic medical procedures. The truth is that the chiropractic profession has an excellent safety record and very high patient satisfaction and is one of the few choices that patients have for non-invasive treatment.
Benefits of chiropractic adjustments can include:
Chiropractic adjustments are drug-free, all-natural, non-invasive techniques that grant patients more mobility and less back pain. These adjustments also help maintain your spine health. As we mentioned above, when your spine is aligned correctly, your nervous system works as it should, and back strain can be reduced and even eliminated. If you're interested in restoring your mobility and joint function and eventually enjoying a healthier range of motion and less back pain, it's time to see a chiropractor in Summerville, SC.
The Chiropractic Doctors of Back 2 Health Physical Medicine are experts at locating and analyzing the improper placement of the vertebrae and correcting back issues, enabling the body to return to its proper alignment. This is key in correcting the "vertebral subluxation complex," which can interfere with your body's normal functioning and long-term health.
Used by almost every chiropractor, this technique is very common and used for three primary reasons:
Using extreme precision and targeted thrusts, chiropractors use this adjustment when a patient's range of motion is affected by misaligned bones and joints. It is also helpful for spinal realignment.
Also called manual therapy or spinal manipulation, this adjustment is utilized by chiropractors and physical therapists alike. Though this technique is considered a manual therapy like the Diversified adjustment, more stretching and less rigorous thrusting motions are involved. This chiropractic technique helps relieve joint pressure, improves nerve functionality, and reduces inflammation.
In this method, your chiropractor uses a spring-loaded handheld device to apply gentle impulses to affected areas and vertebral segments of your spine. By applying this technique to targeted areas across your body, you can benefit from less back pain, fewer headaches, and a range of other conditions. The Activator is also great for patients who want to avoid large, forceful adjustments or movements.
Using a specialized table that flexes and distracts your spine in a rhythmic motion, this technique works best for disc injuries that cause uncomfortable symptoms like leg and back pain. Patients often love this style of adjustment when they are recovering from a recent injury or are extra sensitive to other chiropractic techniques.
The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae and discs, several muscles, and eight pairs of spinal nerves. When poor posture or injury compress your cervical discs, the pressure can herniate your discs, which is an excruciating condition. When you have a herniated disc, pain radiates down the backs of your arms and can even cause numbness. While some patients opt for surgical spinal decompression, it should only be used as a last option, as it doesn't always help with pain relief and can cause other areas of your spine to degenerate.
At Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, our highly-trained chiropractors can perform non-surgical spinal decompression, using gentle stretching and traction to decompress your spine. This non-invasive option releases disc pressure and has been shown to reverse disc herniations when applied soon after an injury.
While some patients may experience slight discomfort as their spine stretches, it's much less painful than surgical options. When finished, many patients notice immediate results, while others need a few sessions to experience relief. When combined with ongoing chiropractic care and a customized exercise program from Back 2 Health practitioners, spinal decompression can be very effective.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, it's important you make an appointment with a chiropractor soon, as you may qualify for spinal decompression:
Information from the American Chiropractic Association tells us that three in four people that visit a chiropractor in Summerville, SC describe their experience as "very effective." That's not a bad batting average. Whether you're suffering from chronic back pain that has plagued you for years or have recently been in an auto accident, your chiropractor can help you get back to living a normal life with little downtime and recovery.
Surprisingly, though, many people don't know that great chiropractic care goes beyond your spine and neck. Here are a few interesting facts to consider when seeing your chiropractor, which may end up benefitting your overall health.
There's a misconception that chiropractic care isn't meant for pregnant women. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, chiropractic adjustments can benefit pregnant women. With the proper techniques, a woman's pelvis and uterus can be rebalanced, creating more room for baby and mom. This can help facilitate a healthier birth and can reduce lower back pain in pregnant women.
Yes, your chiropractor is probably your go-to source for back pain relief. But did you know that chiropractors can help with insomnia, digestive problems, headaches, anxiety, and more? During your appointment at Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, talk to your chiropractor about your wellness and health goals. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Yes, you read that right. Professional chiropractic care can help you fight off illnesses because adjustments often decrease inflammation and boost brain activity. When that happens, your immune system benefits. A more robust immune system means fewer sore throats, colds, and stuffy noses.
If there's one thing chiropractors are "known" for, it's cracking backs. But when a chiropractor makes adjustments, and you hear a popping noise, it's not because your back is cracking. It's because built-up gas in your joints is being released, almost like gas from a soda bottle. This gas release actually alleviates uncomfortable pressure and can help move your skeletal structure into optimal alignment.
One of the biggest myths about chiropractors is that they're less trained and less qualified than MDs. The truth is that chiropractors spend as much time studying and refining their skills in school as medical doctors. The difference is that medical doctors focus on surgery and pharmaceuticals, while chiropractors focus more on neurology and nutrition.
Are you suffering from headaches and sleepless nights because your muscles are strained? Are you unable to work or put food on the table because of a pinched nerve? Do you have trouble completing everyday tasks because you lack mobility? No amount of over-the-counter or even prescription pain pills can provide a long-term solution for such issues. Fortunately, seeing a Back 2 Health chiropractor in Summerville, SC, can provide the long-lasting relief you need.
At our chiropractic office, doctors and practitioners take an integrated approach to chiropractic care and back pain relief. Our goal is to restore proper alignment to your spine to accelerate your recovery time and prevent further injury. If chronic back pain has taken over your life, it's time to visit our chiropractic office in South Carolina.
It all starts with a comprehensive exam performed by one of our chiropractic doctors. Once your evaluation is complete, our team creates a personalized treatment plan created for your body, not someone who matches your age and weight. That way, our chiropractors can address the underlying causes of your symptoms instead of masking your pain.
From simple chiropractic adjustments to more involved spinal decompression solutions, your chiropractor will work tirelessly to heal your back and body so you can live a normal life free of pain and mobility problems. If you're ready to give your back the attention it needs, your recovery starts at Back 2 Health Physical Medicine. Contact our office today to schedule your initial appointment.
SUMMERVILLE — There will soon be a new sculpture right outside of Saul Alexander Playground, and it’s going to be absolutely bananas.Town Council accepted the Sculpture in the South’s donation of a 350-pound, 7-foot half-peeled banana with feet reclined on a 6-foot-long bronze bench.Sculpture in the South is an organization formed in 1999 to add art to public spaces throughout Summerville.The group is in the process of fundraising to purchase the sculpture, which costs $50,000.Otis Engelman, chai...
SUMMERVILLE — There will soon be a new sculpture right outside of Saul Alexander Playground, and it’s going to be absolutely bananas.
Town Council accepted the Sculpture in the South’s donation of a 350-pound, 7-foot half-peeled banana with feet reclined on a 6-foot-long bronze bench.
Sculpture in the South is an organization formed in 1999 to add art to public spaces throughout Summerville.
The group is in the process of fundraising to purchase the sculpture, which costs $50,000.
Otis Engelman, chairman of Sculpture in the South, said every sculpture the organization has purchased to place in Summerville has been paid for by donations from Summerville residents and no town funds.
The banana sculpture will be placed between the Miracle League field and the playground, near the horseshoe. Town Council accepted the sculpture during its Jan. 12 meeting.
The banana is a work of Jack Hill, who is based out of DeLand, Fla. Dora Ann Reaves, a member of Sculpture in the South, said the banana is one of Hill’s favorite forms, adding that he has other sculptures of bananas on roller skates.
“He’s got a real interesting sense of humor,” Reaves said. “The idea that a banana could sit on a bench or roller skate is of interest to him.”
Sculpture in the South has already placed a variety of sculptures around the town, many of which are in Summerville parks. The organization helped facilitate the sculpture of the late John McKissick and his wife, Joan.
Sculpture in the South was looking to add a more whimsical piece to its collection, Amy Evans, parks and recreation director, said.
Reaves spoke for the banana at the standing committees meeting on Jan. 9, where the Parks and Recreation Committee voted unanimously to accept the donation.
Reaves said she likes the banana sculpture because it’s a more fun piece, and has a unique look.
Town Councilman Aaron Brown spoke in favor of the sculpture after Reaves gave her endorsement.
“I think it would be a good idea if we try to be more broad-based with the sculptures that we approve,” Brown said at the meeting. He then suggested getting a sculpture at Wassamassaw Community Park to represent Native Americans’ heritage.
Town Councilwoman Kima Garten-Schmidt said she believes the banana is the perfect sculpture for the park.
“It’s not supposed to be anything serious,” Garten-Schmidt said. “The kids are going to absolutely love it. They’re going to love climbing on it, getting their picture taken with it — even adults are going to love getting a selfie taken with it.”
While it was board of the Sculpture in the South’s decision to choose the banana to place in Saul Alexander Playground, Reaves said she was pleased with the choice.
“Most of our other pieces are memorials or animals,” Reaves said. “We don’t have any other bananas.”
If anyone is interested in donating or contributing to the fundraiser for the banana sculpture, email email@example.com.
SUMMERVILLE — It’s almost 1:30 p.m., and to the white-handed gibbons, that means lunch time is nearing.In excitement, a pair of mated gibbons start making noise. The female gibbon produces a series of loud notes, starting in a low tone and gradually going higher. The male then chimes in with a higher pitch, as if he were chirping.They’re singing. The creatures sing in a duet, and the only place in the Lowcountry you would be able to hear this is at the International Primate Protection League’s gibbon san...
SUMMERVILLE — It’s almost 1:30 p.m., and to the white-handed gibbons, that means lunch time is nearing.
In excitement, a pair of mated gibbons start making noise. The female gibbon produces a series of loud notes, starting in a low tone and gradually going higher. The male then chimes in with a higher pitch, as if he were chirping.
They’re singing. The creatures sing in a duet, and the only place in the Lowcountry you would be able to hear this is at the International Primate Protection League’s gibbon sanctuary, established in 1977 by the late Shirley McGreal — just four years after she founded the IPPL.
When Pam Mendosa, chairwoman and acting CEO of the IPPL, is in Summerville, she stays in a house on IPPL property. She lives in Virginia but visits every other month, if not every month, for at least 10 days at a time. She relishes the times she is able to hear the gibbons sing.
“When I have people give me estimates or anything, I say, ‘You want to come out and meet me, and not do this over the phone?’ I really urge people to come out,” Mendosa said. “Sure enough, whether we go with the company or not, they’re so enthralled with hearing (the gibbons) singing.”
The sanctuary is a private preserve that houses 29 gibbons, as well as five short-clawed Asian otters. In the past, the sanctuary has also taken in rescue dogs.
The IPPL and gibbon sanctuary are working to continue honoring McGreal’s legacy after her passing in November 2021, just as the IPPL reaches its 50th anniversary.
McGreal was living in Thailand when she established the league in 1973.
She was concerned about how primates were being captured from the wild, transported and exploited in captivity. She founded the IPPL in order to try and protect primates around the world.
Since its founding, the IPPL has kept busy, from exposing animal smuggling rings to organizing worldwide protests to raise awareness of the mistreatment of primates in labs.
The group’s work over the years has influenced countries such as Belgium and Malaysia to establish laws banning wildlife trafficking and monkey exports. The league has been recognized by public figures like Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh, and McGreal herself earned awards and achievements from the United Nations and Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her work.
Now, the IPPL has partnerships with 26 animal welfare groups and sanctuaries around the world. A wildlife sanctuary in Nepal opened in 2016 and was named in honor of McGreal.
The sanctuary she established in Summerville has taken in gibbons from labs, captivity, zoos and households — as some people have had gibbons as pets.
The sanctuary is not open to visitors. It comprises several enclosures, all connected via a tube system. Each enclosure includes a ropes course and some monkey bars for the gibbons to swing around, and they all connect to their respective gibbon house — where they sleep. Mated gibbons are in the same enclosure.
After her death, McGreal left behind a tremendous legacy that the IPPL and employees at the gibbon sanctuary are working to uphold.
Employees say in terms of the sanctuary itself, not a lot has changed since McGreal’s passing. They’re working on upgrading the gibbons’ houses and the animal care kitchen to maintain the gibbons’ healthy lifestyle and ensure their safety.
“The buildings are almost 50 years old,” said Meg McCue-Jones, safety and compliance manager.
She added that the sanctuary mainly relies on donations to keep running. They apply for grants, but don’t consistently receive grant money.
McCue-Jones said the sanctuary used to receive calls from donors specifically so they could talk to McGreal. Since her passing, the donors still call, but will talk to office staff and board members.
Trish McCoy, animal care manager, started working at the sanctuary in April 2020. She said McGreal was always a good resource whenever she had any questions and wished she knew McGreal longer.
“As I’ve worked here longer, I get more and more questions. ... I miss having her around to answer some of the questions, and talking to her about some of the people that helped her get started and how she ended up doing this,” McCoy said. “I miss being able to go in and ask her for advice.”
Mendosa said she hopes for the IPPL’s spring appeal and newsletter to focus on gibbons and the sanctuary.
“Sometimes we focus on the chimps that are in Africa through two or three of our sanctuaries, because international is what really put us on the map,” Mendosa said. “But the sanctuary was so dear to Shirley’s heart.”
Mendosa said the league is still working to protect primates and honor McGreal’s legacy.
“I think it’s important that people know that while Shirley was such an integral part in so many ways — some people think IPPL is Shirley McGreal — we’re continuing, and we’re still strong,” Mendosa said. “We’re still doing good work.”
McCoy has been working with animals for most of her life, but these past two years working at the sanctuary marked the first time for her working with gibbons. She describes working with them as “obviously awesome,” and said she enjoys how each gibbon has a different personality.
“Between the 29 gibbons, no two are the same,” McCoy said.
Some like to hang out on the floor of the enclosures, while others love to swing around on the ropes and bars — never touching the ground. Some gibbons like to play catch with the caretakers and their food. Others don’t.
“Michael is very gentle, very easygoing. Maui ... you put a toy in there, you better make sure that toy cannot be pulled apart, because he will figure out a way to do it,” McCoy said. “Paen loves having stuffed animals — she’s always dragging one around. Thai could care less. He wants to know what’s in his food bucket.”
She added that some gibbons get along with each other, while others don’t; while all the enclosures are connected via a tube system, there are gates that prevent gibbons from encroaching on each other’s territory.
She gave an example: Nick and Elsa, two mated gibbons, are right next to Ziggy and Erin, another pair of mated gibbons. Nick and Ziggy get along, and they each get along with Elsa and Erin, but Elsa and Erin don’t.
“The girls throw food at each other; they like to actually take the food all the way from their enclosure to inside (their gibbon house) so they can get a closer range when they throw food,” McCoy said. “They’re not hurting anybody; they’re not hurting each other there. To a certain point, that’s a little bit of what would happen in the wild.”
McCoy said the most rewarding part for her working in animal care is when the gibbons started recognizing her as one of their caregivers.
“As an animal keeper, you’re here to take care of them. You want their lives to be better. When they start recognizing you and stop trying to scratch you, you know that you’re finally accepted,” McCoy said.
For more information or to donate to the gibbon sanctuary, go to the International Primate Protection League’s website at ippl.org.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - It was a big win for the Summerville chapter of the NAACP after the Summerville Town Council unanimously approved a redistricting plan Thursday.Summerville NAACP spokesperson Felisa Geddis said it’s extremely important to have equal representation, and the plan they put forward will help ensure that.“It’s so important no matter who you are. So, you can look at it from the aspect or perspective of minorities wanting this, or the NAACP wanting this, but it is actually what all people w...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - It was a big win for the Summerville chapter of the NAACP after the Summerville Town Council unanimously approved a redistricting plan Thursday.
Summerville NAACP spokesperson Felisa Geddis said it’s extremely important to have equal representation, and the plan they put forward will help ensure that.
“It’s so important no matter who you are. So, you can look at it from the aspect or perspective of minorities wanting this, or the NAACP wanting this, but it is actually what all people want,” Geddis said.
She said people are not always aware of what’s going on in local government, especially with all the growth in Dorchester and Berkeley counties. To have someone on the town council representing their community and bringing information back is critical. She said information is power.
“We always have to take the stance that we are going to make sure every person counts,” Geddis said.
Since 2010, the population of Summerville has grown by nearly 10,000 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to town documents, the previous districts, last updated in 2012, were outdated and unequal. The new single member districts, which are based on data from the 2020 census, will provide equal representation on the Town Council.
After the redistricting map passed unanimously, Councilmember William McIntosh said he was proud of the way the town handled the process.
“For a town like Summerville, with our demographics, with our size, with our growth, for us to handle a very political matter of redistricting, and to handle it in a way where we worked really arm and arm with the NAACP...we should give ourselves a pat on the back,” McIntosh said.
Geddis said she’s thankful to the council members for recognizing the importance of what the NAACP is fighting for- because at the end of the day, we’re all fighting for the same thing
We all live together in Summerville and throughout this country,” Geddis said. “We all want the same thing. So, we don’t want the divide, and I appreciate the council members for recognizing that everyone’s equal,” Geddis said.
For more information about the new districts, click here.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Located at the corner of Berlin Myers Parkway and Highway 78, a 57-acre multi-use property will bring new development to the Summerville area by early 2025.The property, named Sawmill, will include 474 multi-family apartment units, offices, restaurants, hotels, stores, banks, outdoor spaces and a 40,000-square-foot Roper St. Francis facility....
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Located at the corner of Berlin Myers Parkway and Highway 78, a 57-acre multi-use property will bring new development to the Summerville area by early 2025.
The property, named Sawmill, will include 474 multi-family apartment units, offices, restaurants, hotels, stores, banks, outdoor spaces and a 40,000-square-foot Roper St. Francis facility.
Summerville spokesperson Mary Edwards said the task to get the development started was a long process.
“It’s something that people have been wanting for a long time, and council has really supported the developers, too. It’s a big deal for us; I mean, it’s a new big development that’s coming to our area,” Edwards said. “It’s something that’s needed. It’s something that the public has really wanted.”
The developers, Lee & Associates, said in a news release that “a new walkable community designed to better connect residents with the fun they want and services they need will be anchored by a major healthcare system.”
Although not everyone in the area is excited about the new development. Some members of the Summerville community shared their concerns on a Facebook post with over 400 comments mentioning traffic problems, school enrollment and housing availability.
Located near the development, the Spinx gas station may see increased traffic with the upcoming construction. Employee Rona Emons, shared her concerns.
“I don’t think we can really handle it because this road is already always backed up; it’s already hard to get in and out of the store,” she said. “I think that’s going to make it a lot worse unless they try to widen the road somehow, which I don’t know how they can do that. But yeah, it’s going to cause a lot of congestion in this area.”
In response to the concerns, Edwards said the city and developers studied research before deciding if the project was appropriate for the area.
“The town is growing really fast,” Edwards said. “So, we know that people want to come here, and they want to experience the area. We want to be able to provide these types of options for people when they come.”
Construction on the health care facility and multi-family apartment units will begin in early 2023.
“I’m kind of excited,” Emons said. “I’d like to get out. You know, it’d be nice to see something new in this area. So yeah, I’m looking forward to it in some ways, and otherwise, I’m kind of a little leery of it.”
Overall, the project is expected to cost $200 million.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
A woman with intellectual disabilities in the care of the state is now recovering after she was hit by a car, late at night on a Summerville road.Published: Fri Dec 09 2022|Updated: Mon Dec 12 2022SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman with intellectual disabilities in the care of the state is now recovering after she was hit by a car, late at night on a Summerville road.Now, her family is asking how that was even possible in the first place.It was sometime between 12:30 and 12:42 a.m. on Oct. 16 when a car hit Mary W...
A woman with intellectual disabilities in the care of the state is now recovering after she was hit by a car, late at night on a Summerville road.
Published: Fri Dec 09 2022|Updated: Mon Dec 12 2022
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman with intellectual disabilities in the care of the state is now recovering after she was hit by a car, late at night on a Summerville road.
Now, her family is asking how that was even possible in the first place.
It was sometime between 12:30 and 12:42 a.m. on Oct. 16 when a car hit Mary Williams who was walking along Miles Jamison Road.
Williams, a 42-year-old, has intellectual disabilities and a depressive disorder.
She is a longtime resident, or consumer as they’re referred to, of the Coastal Regional Center, one of five state-run facilities for adults with disabilities run by the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
P.J. Perea, a spokesman for DDSN, said Williams was able to leave the facility around midnight. A Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office report states dispatch was not called until 12:24 a.m. regarding a consumer that was “walking along the roadway.”
By the time the authorities arrived on the scene, it was already too late.
She was found in bad shape, with fractures in her spine, hips, arms and face requiring multiple surgeries. She was on a ventilator, and her family says she almost didn’t make it.
Williams’ aunt and guardian Ruby Jones didn’t realize how bad it was until she saw her in the hospital.
“That was a difficult moment,” Jones said. “I was hurt, I was disappointed. Surprised would not have been a term that I would have used for what was going on. I was angry.”
The family is thanking God she’s alive and recovering, but she still remains bedridden, unable to do even the smallest task.
“We figured with her being in the Coastal Center. She would have been safe. She would have been protected and this situation should have never happened,” Williams’s cousin, Nicole Nick, said.
Williams was hit about a half-mile from the main entrance and several blocks down the road near Alwyn Boulevard. Ironically, that’s the entrance to the subdivision Nick lives in.
She thinks of her cousin and that night, every time she drives home.
“I was trying to understand, how something like that could have occurred,” Jones said.
When Live 5 Investigates asked to interview an administrator of the department, a spokesman declined. When asked why, they said it was “due to the nature of the incident [the department] felt it best to release a statement rather than conduct an interview.”
For Charleston lawyer and state representative Marvin Pendarvis, this story is a personal one. His big sister, Janae Pendarvis lives at the facility, too.
He tells us she’s been able to escape twice this year.
“Janae could as very well been the young lady that was hit by a car,” he said. “There was one incident where she had gotten so far down Miles Jamison road that a couple saw her, she was in a gown, and it was clear that she was lost... she needed to be driven back.”
An email to management from a former administrator obtained by Live 5 Investigates accuses staff of failing to intervene when another consumer has a “meltdown.”
She asks if staff can work to prevent her from leaving the building in the future, as the resident making it to the road is “becoming an everyday situation” and she worries about this consumer’s safety.
Dozens of pages obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request detail the ongoing problems with staff at the facility, though some were completely redacted, the department citing “privacy” as the reason.
One incident details an altercation between staff and a consumer in January 2022, where the consumer reportedly pushed, grabbed and pulled their hair and eventually put a staff member “in a chokehold.”
Management formally scolded one staff member who stood aggressively with “balled up fists” at the consumer, and another staff member left the campus during this fight for “personal business.”
Both were given a one-day suspension.
Another employee was suspended for one day for “failure to report an allegation of abuse” for an unknown incident.
“My mom has expressed these same concerns time and time and time again. We always talk about, they seem to be understaffed [and] the staff that they do have, they don’t seem to be equipped to handle the patients that are there,” Pendarvis said.
READ MORE: 3 former state department of disabilities employees in Summerville charged by SLED
Over the Summer, SLED charged three former workers with “abuse of a vulnerable adult.”
Jones says her niece was the victim in that case, having been informed by SLED via phone.
“Of course, she always said things but because of her illness, sometimes they were kind of overlooked because... it’s not always accurate,” Jones said.
The agency reports surveillance video showed them hitting and kicking her, one watching it all happen. Williams reportedly received “minor injuries” at the time.
“I had no idea,” Jones said. “I really feel kind of hurt that she was not better protected.”
For these families, their hands are tied. Jones is unable to provide the full-time care that her niece requires access to. It’s a similar story for Pendarvis.
“The reality is there aren’t many facilities that are able to handle people with special needs and disabilities to the degree that my sister has them,” Pendarvis said.
Live 5 Investigates has previously reported concerns from staff members about understaffing, long shifts and little pay.
A year-long state audit of the department has been completed, at state Senator Katrina Shealy’s request.
She points out this is step one to finding a solution, for the hundreds of vulnerable people and their families who rely on the state.
“You can’t fix something if you don’t know what the problems are,” Sen. Shealy said.
It’s not scheduled to be published until early next year.
“The goal is to correct the problems, streamline the problems and make the agency more accountable,” she added.
As for Williams, her aunt now visits nearly every day, sometimes three times a day, to help bathe and feed her at the nursing home she’s recovering at.
Though where she will now call home is uncertain, her family is sure of one thing, she won’t be returning to the state’s care.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have the confidence that she will be safe at Coastal,” Jones said.
If you have a story or a tip you’d like for us to investigate, you can call our tip line 843-402-5678 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.