Wife of Retired Couple Forbidden to See Her Husband in Nursing Home After Publication of MedicalKidnap.com Article
by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Last November marks the beginning of the fourth year that 70 year old Charley Taylor of Missouri has been held by Morgan County in a nursing home against his will, after a trip to the emergency room turned into a permanent medical confinement.
Although he has doctors who have stated that he is competent and of sound mind, and although his wife Helen had power of attorney to make decisions for him if he was medically not capable, a state-appointed conservator has been appointed to him by the court to make all decisions, even against his own wishes and the wishes of his wife.
Meanwhile his wife Helen, who has been fighting for her husband’s freedom, has also been battling against false accusations herself. She has been sent to jail based on false charges and later released due to lack of evidence, kidnapped and confined to a mental hospital until a doctor determined that there was nothing wrong with her, and has been evaluated five times to prove her own competency. She told Health Impact News:
We were financially set for the rest of our lives after 40 years of marriage until I called 911. Our lives have been destroyed and I am told everything to do when I see him.
If this is justice, I don’t need it. We want to be together. He is 70 years old, and I am 67.
I have never had but a speeding ticket in my life until the county took him from me. Since then, I have been labeled a thief, a person that blows up nursing homes, called in to take a lie detector for abusing animals. The county just won’t stop with the things they accuse me of. I was a grandmother of 13. Now, I am a homeless woman that lives in an apartment across the street from my husband in a nursing home. Oh, I forgot, an abuser of my husband. No charges after 719 days in court. No witnesses. I can’t believe what a crooked county can do to people.
Helen and Charley worked hard for many years for everything that they owned—sometimes working several jobs in addition to their full-time jobs. Helen said, “I’ve worked all my life.” From 1979 to 2005 she was a field representative and managed doctors in medical facilities. She was so good at it that, she was sent across the country to open new facilities and train personnel. Additionally, Helen was also a mayor for two years in the town of Barnett, while also working a full-time job that required frequent travel, as well as a holding a municipal judge’s license.
The county has been depleting Helen and Charles’s joint properties. Helen refuses to part with any more. She said, “They are telling me to sell and they can split the money.”
Helen’s former attorney became very concerned for her safety. He asked:
“Do they know where you’re at? I’m worried for you.” He told her, “They will kill people for that amount of money.”
He advised her not to let those involved know where she is because they would rather kill her than be exposed and lose their income.
State Kidnaps Husband and Seizes Estate
Charley has asked for a jury to hear his competency case, requesting that the conservator be removed. This request has allegedly been denied.
Reportedly, to date, Amanda Huffman, who was elected in 2012 as Conservator and Public Administrator for Morgan County, has drained a large sum of money and three homes from Charley’s estate and has been pressuring Charley’s 67 year old wife Helen to sell additional properties to pay for his care. (Health Impact News has contacted Amanda Huffman but she has declined to comment at this time.)
Helen said that, despite being deemed competent in the eyes of the medical professionals, according to Judge Kevin Schehr, the only one who is qualified to determine competency is conservator Amanda Huffman.
The Taylor Story – Living a Nightmare
Charley had limited mobility in his legs after a work-related injury in 1984. In November 2013, he was wheelchair bound, and as a result, he had two bedsores on his heels from his socks that would not heal. A neighbor, who was trying to be helpful, brought in an old heating pad without a cover, which Helen did not know about. The heating pad burned Charley, and then the burn would not heal.
Charley needed antibiotics, and the only kind that he could take was either injectable or given through an IV. When Helen spoke to Charley’s doctor about it, the doctor told her to call 911 and have an ambulance get him to the emergency room.
The ambulance took him to the hospital where he was treated by a doctor. Helen said that doctor honed-in on Charley’s fingernails that had been chewed off, accusing her of harming him. Reportedly, when Helen tried to explain that this was a habit that Charley had been living with all of his life, the doctor dismissed her.
Helen said that the doctor said that Charley had an infection and needed intensive surgery, lasting up to five hours. The doctor scheduled a surgery, insisting that Charley’s condition was severe. To support their case, Helen was shown a photo of Charley’s feet. However, Helen said, “They had somebody else’s feet.”
We had his toenails taken off because of sugar diabetes. The feet in the photo are smaller, and Charley wears a size 11.
She said, “They called me a liar.”
Helen said that when the surgeon arrived to perform the surgery, he said that Charley did not have an infection. He said that he only needed a small procedure, lasting about 45 minutes.
Wife’s Power of Attorney Removed – State Kidnaps Husband
While Charley was at the hospital, Helen was concerned for her husband. For instance, each day, for the first few days, when Helen arrived, she learned that Charley had been moved to a different location in the hospital. One day, she found him on a gurney by the elevator unattended, another day she learned that he had been moved to the oncology floor.
Helen visited Charley daily since his admission to the hospital. However, a couple of weeks went by where she was unable to leave her home because of illnesses. She had a bout with temporary blindness due to cataracts.
The following month, Helen and a friend went to check on Charley, and he was gone. Helen contacted her attorney to see about getting Charley moved. She said:
[He] called around, and he told me that Charley went to [a] nursing home.
He went on to say that on December 6, 2013 a petition had been filed by the Department of Health and Senior Services for Charley to have a conservator and a Guardian ad Litem. As a result, Morgan County Public Administrator Amanda Huffman was appointed as Conservator for Charley.
Helen was taken aback. At the time, she thought:
Surely, there has been a misunderstanding.
It was Helen who had durable power of attorney for Charley, and she was to make any decisions regarding Charley’s medical care. According to Lawyers.com:
A conservator (sometimes known as an “adult guardian”) is a court-appointed position responsible for managing the legal and financial affairs of an adult who is unable to manage these issues on his or her own.
Still in shock, Helen drove to see her husband and straighten out this misunderstanding. When Helen approached the nursing home administrator with questions about her husband, she was denied any and all information, citing HIPAA laws.
Another Nursing Home, Wife Forbidden to Kiss or Touch Husband
In January 2014, Charley was allegedly moved to Morgan County-owned Golden Age Living Center, “The Home with a Heart,” in Stover, Missouri. Helen said that from the day that Charley arrived, she was told that she could not touch, kiss, or lay next to Charley anymore, and that her visits with him must be supervised by a staff member. (Golden Age Living Center has not yet responded to Health Impact News’ effort to contact them for comment.)
Helen bought Charley a cell phone since he did not have a phone in his room. There have been many times that Helen and other family members have called for hours on end, and the cell phone was turned off. She has resorted to calling the nurses station to try to reach him, and was told that she could not call them for personal calls. Eventually, the staff took the cell phone away. She was told that it was because the staff thought that Charley was taking photos with it.
She says she later found out that the nursing home staff had even blocked her number.
Husband Sexually Abused in Nursing Home
Helen said that there was one staff who “would touch and kiss” Charley. He did not like it. One day in July, Helen and Charley were on the phone. When the staff came in, Helen told him to lay down the phone so that they will think that he was off the phone.
Two CNAs came in, and then she heard another female voice that said, “Morning, Charley. Are you gonna smile for me today?” Then, there was total silence. “Charley, I know what will make you smile. Let me see that little pecker of yours.” Then, she said, “Girls, look at this little thing. Charley, you still aren’t smiling for me. Charley, are you gonna smile? Oh, I need to clean the dead skin off of that pecker.” Helen said that the she “rubbed and rubbed on it till the CNAs put a Depend on him.” She said, “Charley, you still haven’t smiled. Do I need to put her titties on your table to get you to smile for me?”
Helen said, “I was livid.” She asked Charley three times who the female voice was. She said that it took him a while before he would tell her.
Finally, he told her who it was.
Helen said about the nurse, “That was her thing—to get ‘em up. And laugh.” Helen allegedly immediately reported the incident to the social worker, but she said that it was never investigated. She said that the abuse continued for about three months, and then Charley called and made a police report. He made two reports about the nurse.
Helen said, “The nursing home told the attorney general that he was being treated for dementia, and the complaint stopped.” This was a lie, Helen said, because Charley’s doctors already said that he is of sound mind. Helen contacted the attorney general, but he refused to discuss it.
Helen’s attorney told her to take the sexual abuse information to police. When she did, she got a ticket for harassment. After three months of court hearings, she ended up with a $225.00 fine.
Charley’s Phone Listed On Dating Sites
Helen said that she traded phones with Charley and found that he had been listed on four dating sites and several shopping networks. She said, “Someone actually called the phone and asked for the nurse who had sexually assaulted him.” Helen reported it to the administrator, but she said that nothing was done about it.
Wife Kidnapped from Home and Forced into Mental Hospital
After Charley was admitted to Golden Age Living Center, that night, not long after Helen went to bed, she heard a knock on the door. Next thing she knew, several men burst in the door. It was Morgan County police with an ambulance, stating that someone had reported that she overdosed on drugs. The ambulance took Helen to Calloway Community Mental Hospital, where she was told that she would be “kept for evaluation for 30 days.” When she arrived, Helen was told by staff members that she was on lockdown 24-7 and “had to be in our line of sight at all times.”
During her entire stay, Helen said that no tests or evaluations were done on her at the facility, including a drug test. She said, “I watched TV for 30 days.” She constantly had Charley on her mind. She worried a lot about her husband, and expressed concern about him to those around her on a daily basis. He was her best friend, and she wanted to be there to ensure that he was being taken care of.
While Helen was there, she told a social worker that she needed to hurry and get out of there so that she could take care of Charley. The social worker showed compassion and made arrangements for Helen to speak with Charley by phone for 30 minutes by phone every day.
One day, Helen approached a doctor at the facility. She asked, “What am I doing here?”
The doctor said, “I don’t know. Why are you here?”
She said, “I don’t know. Can I go home?” It was then that the doctor made arrangements for her release.
Helen’s Home Ransacked – Becomes Homeless
Helen was relieved and ecstatic about going home, especially because it meant that she would be seeing Charley again. However, her excitement was met with devastation:
When I got home the door was sawed off, and everything had been stolen and my home was ransacked. I had to walk away from the home.
The list of stolen items included jewelry, china, a dishwasher, clothing, and cash. Helen never recovered the stolen items. To this day, the police have had no leads, and no arrests have been made.
To add insult to injury, Helen said:
Later someone said they saw me kick the door in there—I’m 5′ 2” and weigh 107 lbs. They took me to jail again and let me out at 2:00 am. It was a 23 mile walk, a young man stopped on the road and took me twenty of those miles.
Helen Arrested — Falsely Accused of Making Terrorist Threats
During Charley’s stay at Golden Age, Helen says she was accused of making terrorist threats after she was overheard talking with her grandson about a fundraiser for a skatepark on the 4th of July. Helen said that they talked about organizing a fireworks display, like she did when she was mayor. Reportedly, someone told authorities that they overheard Helen threatening to blow-up the nursing home. Helen was arrested, and her grandson was accused of being her accomplice.
The bail bonds man took my wedding ring as collateral for the $50,000 bond. They’ve taken everything. They kept me in holding for 49 days. I paid a lawyer $3000.00 only to find that he was seated on the board at the nursing home. They had two girls say that I threatened to blow up the nursing home. Their witnesses failed to show up in court for the hearing. The charges were dropped.
A social worker allegedly told Helen, “He’s never coming home. You’ll never see your husband again.”
Helen said that a couple of days before she was arrested for the terrorist threat, a nursing home administrator allegedly said to her, “Your husband would be perfectly happy here if you didn’t come and visit.”
Helen Falsely Arrested Again – Then Quickly Released due to Lack of Evidence
One day Helen and her grandchildren were looking for houses for sale near the nursing home, and she let her granddaughter let her out of the car to go into to see Charley. Helen drove down the street to look at the homes. When she returned, she was looking for her grandchildren. She said that a cop stopped her, saying that two CNAs reported that she had been parked in the back, attempting to kidnap Charley. She and her grandchildren were handcuffed and put in the police cars. She said that the children were unlawfully detained.
Dumbfounded, Helen said, “I told them, you may want to check your security cameras and see I wasn’t parked in the back parking lot.” Reportedly, the policeman said, “OK,” and released her.
Moved to Another Nursing Home in 2016
Last March, 2016, Charley was sent to a different nursing home, and he has been there ever since. Helen has been relegated to one hour visitation a day.
According to Helen, a few months ago, an administrator called a meeting with her. In that meeting, Helen was told that Charley would be evicted soon because Amanda Huffman allegedly has stopped paying Charley’s bill. Because of HIPPA laws, Helen does not know the billing amount or the account balance. However, she said that the bed alone is $124.00 a day.
She said that Huffman is taking his retirement money from the railroad, and is now asking for his annuity. Helen told Health Impact News:
They told me sell some property. I already gave three houses away. Huffman signed off on the house and is putting the [undisclosed amount] acres in my name.
Further, Helen said that Huffman is supposed to be sending her spousal support each month but has failed to do so.
Husband Allegedly Starving at Nursing Home
Helen brings Charley snacks on a regular basis because, without them, Charley would not have enough food to eat. She said he often tells her, “I didn’t get lunch today.” Also, she said that he goes without breakfast and lunch sometimes for a couple of days. Helen buys Charley clothing, food, etc.
I pay for everything at the nursing out of the [small monthly stipend] they give me to live. They don’t buy him anything.
When he is fed, it is not enough to fill him up, and it is difficult for him to eat.
Helen said, “The only time they take care of him is when I’m there.” Helen said that it is not uncommon to see that Charley’s Depends are on backwards, and he goes twelve hours without having them changed. She said that he has gone 19 days without a shower and witnessed a bandage on him that had feces on it.
Helen said that Charley “lays in the back room and has nobody to talk to.” Helen gets one hour visits daily. Amanda Huffman, who is in charge of Charley’s welfare according to the court, has reportedly only visited him twice since she was appointed conservator. Further, Helen said, “Huffman doesn’t return anybody’s calls.”
This is not worth the money she [Amanda Huffman] is wasting on this place—that I worked [for] all my life to take care of him.
Recently, she sought protection and help from an advocacy group for the state, which is in the beginning stages of involvement with her case.
How Could this Happen? Justice Denied
Both Helen and Charley feel that the conservatorship ruling is inappropriate and unjust, since Charley is able to handle his affairs. The couple have consulted lawyers and physicians to stop the abuse of power, as they are denied due process. The attorneys have stated that it is the burden of the court to show that Charley is in need of a conservator, which would necessitate a trial jury. Further, the court must also seek “next of kin and other interested persons” as potential conservators as a requirement to “meet due process concerns.” Reportedly, their pleas have been ignored by Judge Schehr.
According to Helen, the day that the court-appointed lawyer brought it up in court, he quit. She said that it was never brought up again in court. Regarding all the corruption that is happening with their case, Helen said, “There ain’t no lawyer that can touch this.”
All we want is to be together.
This comes despite having documentation from two medical professionals. Both a psychiatrist and Charley’s medical doctor felt so strongly about the mishandling and misdiagnosis of Charley’s mental state that they wrote a letter on his behalf, stating that Charley is competent to handle his affairs. According to Helen, when the Taylors approached Amanda Huffman about this, she said that a doctor cannot make the determination as to whether Charley needs a conservator or not.
Judge Kevin Schehr has said that medical evidence and a plan must be in place for Charley to safely return home. However, Helen said that nothing has been arranged or presented to the court to pursue this. Further, the judge said that Charley waived his right to a jury, but Helen said that the court could never produce evidence of such a waiver. She said, “There’s nothing on record.”
Attorneys Warn Helen
Since Charley was taken, Helen has dodged attacks on many fronts, which she believes were attempts to silence her. She says:
They have also tried to label me mentally incompetent, but it didn’t work.
One of her attorneys told her, “They will kill you for this kind of money.” With regards to Morgan County’s judicial system, he said, “The Justice Center—it’s a joke. They make it up as they go along.”
Helen said, “There’s no justice there.”
How You Can Help
Helen and Charley want to bring attention to the devastation that they have endured, as well as others like them. For instance, there is another family in Missouri that has been suffering at the hands of the court system. Chasity Marietta has been held in a mental hospital against her will, and her mother, Donna, is fighting to bring her home.
See her story:
Medical Kidnapping in Missouri: 25 Year Old Daughter Forced onto Drugs and Committed to Mental Facility.
The Taylors hope that Charley will be home soon. One of the first things that they want to do is travel together and make up for the time that has been lost while Charley has been held captive in the nursing home.
Their State Senator is Jeanie Riddle, and she may be reached at (573) 751-2757, or contacted here.
Conservator Amanda Huffman was elected to the office of Public Administrator in 2012. According to the county website:
The Public Administrator is an advocate for their clients and will work toward improving the quality of life for those under guardianship while protecting their dignity and self-respect. Making decisions should always be in the best interest of the client.
Supporters of the Taylor family who do not believe that Huffman is fulfilling her role with regard to Charley Taylor and would like to reach her may do so at 573-378-4011, or contacted here. She is also on Facebook.
See other stories we have covered about medical kidnapping of senior citizens: