Breaking News
More () »

Son of Galveston County's first COVID-19 death speaks of his last visit with her at Texas City nursing home

Sam Quinn said he found out his mother was positive as he was leaving the facility.

TEXAS CITY, Texas — (NOTE: the video attached to this article is from Friday, April 3, 2020, before Smith passed away.)

Sam Quinn rushed to see his mother Friday morning after staff at the Resort at Texas City had called Sam's sister to inform her that she appeared to be dying.

Quinn said he wore a face mask in the facility and spent five hours with his mother, 87-year-old Peggy Smith, not knowing about that the outbreak of COVID-19 patients in the nursing home had reached 83 people, both residents and employees.

When Quinn eventually left, an employee ran after him to tell him that she had tested positive. He learned the news in the parking lot.

Quinn said his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease, died on Saturday morning. He was concerned there might already be COVID-19 at the home.

"What's weird is, [Thursday] she wasn't like this," Quinn said Friday. "She was fine yesterday, but all of a sudden, overnight, she can't move. She's stuck, paralyzed in her bed."

RELATED: Family of some Resort at Texas City residents say staff have not called them about COVID-19 outbreak at nursing home

RELATED: Over 80 residents, employees test positive for COVID-19 at Texas City nursing home

"It's a mixed bag of emotions," said Quinn. "My mom is my mom. You only get one of those. On the other hand, I'm mad that she got the coronavirus. I'm mad they wouldn't let us see her because they didn't want her to get the coronavirus, and now she has it anyway."

Quinn is a fence builder, who lives in San Leon, and is now sitting in isolation, wondering if he will start showing symptoms, and feels concerned for his health.

"I can't go do anything. I'm stuck now," said Quinn. 

When KHOU reached out to the Resort at Texas City on Saturday, a woman who answered the phone said the nursing home did not have a comment.

Galveston County Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser believes that at least one of the employees contracted COVID-19 and brought it to the facility. It is unclear if that employee or employees was or were showing or feeling symptoms.

Dr. Keiser said multiple staff at the Resort worked part-time at other long-term care facilities, which he said was true of at least one of the employees who tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Keiser issued a public health order that puts restrictions on long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. 

Those include limiting visitors, ensuring that such facilities alert family members and putting signage on the front door letting the public know there have been positive cases.

The facilities also will not be allowed to take residents outside of the facility except for in emergencies or unless they need dialysis.

Employees who work at a long-term care facility with a resident who tests positive are prohibited from working at other long-term care facilities.

"This could be something they couldn't stop. It's like the inevitable was going to happen," said Quinn. "Something tells me this was going to happen regardless and I bet you there are other nursing homes that are infested and don't even know about it."

Before You Leave, Check This Out