Accidents are just a part of life. They can happen at work, home, or even on the road. And when accidents happen, injuries often follow. According to the CDC, the number of injury-related visits to the ER was more than 38 million in 2020. But not all injuries require the same treatment. Minor sprains and bruises can often be treated at home with rest, ice, and elevation. Other, more serious injuries necessitate ongoing care like sports rehab and physical therapy. As a combination of physical exercises and education, physical therapy in Summerville, SC, has incredible benefits for those who are injured or in constant pain. For many patients and pain sufferers, physical therapy is the key to a pain-free life - one without constant worry and debilitating pain, where joints and muscles don't ache, and everyday activities are easy to accomplish.
That's where Back 2 Health Physical Medicine comes into play: to help you rediscover the lifestyle you used to love.
Physical therapy centers around correcting impairments to your body's muscles, nerves, and even your brain. When you tear a muscle or break a major bone in your body, it's crucial to maintain careful stretching and training as your injury heals. However, trying to handle physical therapy on your own is quite risky. At Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, our team uses multiple diagnostic tools to monitor your injuries as you heal to ensure your treatment is helping to heal your body, not damage it further.
We help many different types of patients recover, from teen and adult athletes who play competitive sports to older adults and seniors who are retired. Our doctors and physical therapists find that immediate care often helps prevent minor issues, like sprains, from developing into serious problems. That's especially true if we can find a misalignment or weakness that led to the injury, to begin with.
When an injury takes you out of the game or affects your daily life, seeking physical therapy can get you back to normal as quickly as possible, without risking further damage. And that's the beauty of physical therapy from Back 2 Health.
Patients rely on our trained physical therapists to help them work through a myriad of issues, such as:
Unlike other physical rehab centers, however, we provide more than just physical therapy. Instead of focusing on one pain-relieving discipline, our team utilizes physical therapy along with medical therapeutics and research-backed solutions to give patients a multi-discipline approach to healing. We don't just have one or two physical therapists at your service - we have an entire team dedicated to your recovery, including:
At Back 2 Health, we believe the very best results are achieved by giving patients personalized treatment and access to a comprehensive list of rehab services. Our doctors and physical therapists do more than treat pain - we treat patients. Our goal is to completely restore the quality of life you deserve. We accomplish that goal by using all our resources to treat your pain, from the bottoms of your feet to tips of your triceps and everything in between.
And with decades of combined experience, we understand that no two patients or their injuries are exactly the same. The causes of back pain, foot pain, arthritis pain, and other types of pain are broad and change from patient to patient. The treatment of those conditions, then, must also have a broad range of pain treatment tools.
That's why, when you trust Back 2 Health Physical Medicine, you can rest easy knowing your treatment plan is crafted for you and your body - not someone within your age and weight range.
Our team treats a wide range of conditions, including:
By taking a focused approach to physical therapy, we can better understand your needs and the conditions causing your pain. Whether you're suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica, our doctors and therapists have the tools and training to provide relief. And we keep doing it until you're back on your feet and back to your life.
And that, in a nutshell, is what separates Back 2 Heath from the rest of the pack: nuanced medical and physical therapy in Summerville, SC, that helps you rediscover what healthy, pain-free living is all about. During rehab, our therapists may use resources like massage therapy, chiropractic care, and even medical injections for a more well-rounded approach to your recovery.
Many of the patients we see who are injured report that conventional methods like pain meds and surgery don't really solve their pain problems - they just mask them. When you throw in the risks associated with surgery and pain meds, alternatives like chiropractic care make a lot of sense. If you're looking for a safe, non-invasive treatment, combining the benefits of physical therapy with chiropractic adjustments is a great option for pain relief and overall well-being.
At Back 2 Health, our chiropractic physicians diagnose and treat patients with health problems associated with the body's muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems.
As the saying goes, a healthy spine equals a healthy person.
Just about every type of chiropractic care revolves around your spine. When your vertebrae are misaligned, the nerves surrounding them become compressed, resulting in pain. When a chiropractor restores your spine's natural alignment, it reduces your pain and other medical symptoms. To achieve pain relief, Back 2 Health chiropractors use focused pressure to restore healthy vertebrae motion and loosen frozen joints. This process allows the nerves along your spine to properly function and carry messages to and from your brain.
There are many benefits of using chiropractic care alongside physical therapy in Summerville, SC, and other solutions like massage therapy. Some of the most common benefits of chiropractic care include:
Sitting in one spot for hours or frequently bending at work can cause horrendous neck pain. Whether from work or a car accident, our chiropractors ease that pain by realigning your spine, which reduces the tension on your neck.
The American College of Physicians says that doctors should recommend non-medical treatments for back pain prior to surgery. Chiropractic care helps tremendously in this regard, correcting subluxations through techniques like spinal decompression.
If you suffer from tension headaches that start in your upper spine or neck, chiropractic care may be the solution you need for relief.
Unfortunately, many people with back pain become addicted to pain meds like opiates. However, a study by the NIH found that adults who visited a chiropractor weren't as likely to receive an opioid prescription for pain when compared to those who only visited a medical doctor.
Our team of chiropractic doctors excels at finding and analyzing improper vertebrae placement. Once those areas are discovered, they use advanced techniques to correct subluxations, returning your body to its proper alignment. This strategy is key in correcting vertebral subluxation complex, which can affect your long-term health and how your body functions.
Like other practitioners, our chiropractors follow common standards and procedures to diagnose and treat you with chiropractic care. On your first visit, we'll get your medical history, conduct physical, orthopedic, and neurological examinations, and may order lab tests for further info. We may also use X-rays and other essential tools to focus on your spine and its proper function.
If needed, our chiropractors may conduct a postural and spinal analysis to discover if vertebral dysfunction is affecting your nervous system or causing a skeletal imbalance, which lowers disease resistance and causes additional pain.
Massage has been used for thousands of years to promote relaxation and relieve pain. And while most people think of getting a massage as a treat, purposeful massage therapy demonstrates an incredible ability to heal and restore overall wellness. In fact, modern applications have been proven to be very effective when used to supplement physical therapy. A complete review by the Institute of Work and Health found that massage had measurable effects vs. placebo treatments. That's excellent news for patients who need physical therapy to help heal injuries.
The benefits of massage therapy for issues like back pain and shoulder pain are numerous and include the following:
Deep Tissue Massage
If you're suffering from a long-term condition like neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or arm pain, massage therapy could be a great option to consider. Though massage can't always solve issues like inflammation, it can help relieve painful symptoms and works very well when used as part of the multi-discipline approach at Back 2 Health Physical Medicine.
Massage can help treat many conditions, such as:
If we're being honest, few people look forward to a medical procedure that involves needles. But the proper injection may reduce or even eliminate joint, nerve, muscle, or spinal pain plaguing you for years, all within a few hours. At Back 2 Health, we combine medical injections for immediate relief with other treatments like physical therapy in Summerville, SC, that repair factors causing inflammation in your body, providing permanent results.
In many cases, inflammation is a good thing - it helps heal injuries and subsides when the healing process is finished. In many cases, however, inflammation doesn't go away. It actually becomes counterproductive, causing severe pain, swelling, restricted movement, and even structural damage that prevents normal bodily function.
Joint and inflammation injections from Back 2 Health help relieve pain and inflammation by reducing blood flow and limiting immune system cells at the affected joint. These injections typically contain a corticosteroid and an anesthetic. The corticosteroid helps with inflammation by limiting blood vessel dilation, while the anesthetic helps with immediate relief of pain.
Generally, joint and inflammation injections can serve two purposes: for pain relief and for diagnostic purposes. As a diagnostic tool, these injections can help our doctors identify the source of pain you're enduring. As a pain reliever, injections help reduce inflammation around the affected joint, providing localized pain relief with few, if any, side effects.
Patients who qualify for medical injections from Back 2 Health enjoy a number of short and long-term benefits, including:
Patients at Back 2 Health Physical Medicine use joint and inflammation injections for a variety of conditions, such as:
If you're looking for a truly personalized, complete approach to physical therapy and pain relief, contact Back 2 Health Physical Medicine today. As a team, we analyze every new patient's case and craft a customized medical treatment plan tailored to their needs. But unlike other "pain" clinics, we don't rely on one form of therapy.
Our doctors and specialists use massage therapy, chiropractic therapy, medical injections, and other treatments to give you long-term relief - not a short-term "band-aid" that only lasts for a few days. If surgery and opiates are off the table, contact our office to learn more about the Back 2 Health physical therapy difference.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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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.
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