SWFL widow speaks out about nursing home negligence that killed her husband

Published: Updated:

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – A WINK News exclusive, a widow will spend the holidays alone this year after deputies said her husband was forgotten about for hours in the sweltering heat at a local assisted living center. He later died.

“It’s hard not having him here .. and it will be the first Christmas well be not together but I know he’s in a better place” said Frances Bernard.

It happened over the summer at the Aristocrat on Immokalee Road in North Naples about two miles east of US 41.

“His legs were so badly burned the hole side of him was badly burned” said Bernard.

Back in August, Collier County deputies said staff members at the Aristocrat left 90 year old Robert Bernard outside for 3 hours. He went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Frances Bernard tells only WINK News she was on her way to visit her husband that day when she got the devastating news. “When ever I saw him I was heart broken. They were pounding on his chest trying to revive him.”

Robert was a World War II veteran, who received a purple heart, while serving in Germany a grenade went off injuring him.

Frances didn’t lose him then and she never thought she’d lose him this way. “No. No no because he was, the only thing that bothered him was his legs, and as far as anything else went he was alright.”

Frances hopes what happened to her husband of 66 years never happens to another family. “They should really check it out real good to make sure it will be a good place for their loved one that they’ll get good care and so they’ll be happy there.”

Her attorney, Anthony Russo, tells WINK News Bernard’s case is one of the worst death cases he’s seen. “If we just get the awareness out to the people they can do a better job of checking out these facilities and the facilities will do a better job of sticking to what they’re suppose to be doing which is helping people.”

Three staff members at The Aristocrat were fired because of this.

Frances Bernard could take legal action against the assisted living center.


Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.