Months of neglect left a 78-year-old Mount Prospect woman with bedsores so severe part of her spinal cord and a gold screw in her knee from a previous surgery were exposed, according to Cook County prosecutors who named the woman's caregiver-daughter as the person responsible for her mother's life-threatening condition.
Jan Alcantara, 49, of the 1400 block of North Elmhurst Road in Mount Prospect, was ordered held on $50,000 bail Wednesday on charges she criminally neglected an elderly person.
Alcantara found her mother unconscious on Monday and called 911, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Gates.
Before help arrived, Alcantara moved the woman from her bed, dressed her, put her in a wheelchair and wheeled the woman outside to wait for emergency personnel, Gates said.
Emergency medical technicians took the woman to a hospital, where the emergency room doctor diagnosed her as malnourished, dehydrated and suffering from sepsis caused by infection from severe bedsores, Gates said.
Emergency room nurses reported the woman's "inner knees were stuck together by bedsores" and her "mouth was stuck closed and had to be pried open, indicating severe dehydration," Gates said.
After the EMTs took the woman to the hospital, Mount Prospect police attempted to enter Alcantara's apartment but were unable to because items blocked the door, Gates said.
Together with police, representatives from the village's department of health and human services eventually entered and found the apartment to be "uninhabitable, filled with massive amounts of garbage ... such that no part of the floor in the apartment was clearly visible," said Gates, who told Cook County Judge Marc Martin the village condemned the apartment that day.
Authorities say the 78-year-old had not seen any medical professional since her discharge from an Evanston nursing home into Alcantara's care on Nov. 1, 2017.
In early December, a home care service contacted the family about beginning services, but a person claiming to be the woman's husband said none were required, Gates said.
Police subsequently learned the woman's husband died in 2012 and could not have canceled the services, Gates said.
Cook County Assistant Public Defender Camille Bachli said Alcantara, who has a learning disability, was her mother's sole caregiver and "could not force her to eat or drink."
Martin ordered Alcantara have no contact with her mother and prohibited her from working as a caregiver. She next appears in court on July 6.