93-year-old Gertrude Maxwell died after consuming dishwashing liquid that appeared to be juice.
A 93-year-old woman, who lived at a California home for older adults, has tragically died after consuming dishwashing liquid that appeared to be juice. The elderly woman was among three residers at Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo who was rushed to the hospital on Sunday.
The facility told KRON-TV that the three residents had to be hospitalized after "mistakenly being served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice." In the statement, according to HuffPost, Atria Park added, "We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away. Our sincerest condolences are with the family."
The late resident was later identified as Gertrude Maxwell by her daughter Marcia Cutchin. Cutchin revealed that her mother suffered from dementia and could not feed herself. "Many people, like my mother, you have to hold a cup to her mouth and tip it into her mouth," she explained. She went on to claim that doctors found "severe blistering of her mouth and throat and esophagus" after arriving at the hospital.
The liquid that claimed Maxwell's life was an "alkaline cleaning solution that eats protein," according to Cutchin. The heartbreaking incident was confirmed by the San Mateo Police Department on Monday via a Facebook post which revealed that officials were dispatched to the facility at around 8:10 p.m. on Sunday.
On arrival they "began a comprehensive investigation and learned three home care residents were hospitalized after ingesting toxic chemicals...Tragically, one of the three residents, a 93-year-old female, was pronounced deceased at a local hospital." The post continued, "SMPD Detectives are actively investigating this case jointly with the California Department of Social Services Ombudsman, and Atria Hillsdale is cooperating with this investigation."
Atria Park San Mateo of the Hillsdale neighborhood shared that they are "conducting [their] own internal investigation" and that "the employees involved have been suspended until this investigation concludes." According to PEOPLE, they continued, "We will continue working with the police and Department of Social Services to fully review and assess the incident, after which we will take additional actions as needed. The safety and well-being of our residents remain our top priorities at all times."
Cover image source: YouTube Screenshot | KRON 4