From Florida

Clara G. Fernandez was held isolated from her family,friends and associates while according to Doctors was given a cocktail of drugs that led to man falls. This while she was being shuffled around Monroe, Dade, Palm Beach and Osceola County in Florida.

During this time Clara was executing Quit Claim Deed to all the family properties, she executed a new Will and Testament, she signed a new Power of attorney, to the people who promptly cashed her CD, Stock and Bond accounts.

Clara G. Fernandez had been diagnosed with Alzheimer, Dementia and memory loss.

Alarmed family members attempted to get help from the authorities who ridiculed the family by saying things such as “Clara has a right to giver her property to whomever she wants” never showing any concern for welfare, her delicate state of health or even bothering to investigate the many falls as a result form her drugging…

After getting the run around from police agencies family and friends filed several complaints with the Florida

Department of Children and Family…..

The DCF forwarded the complaint to the Florida , Bartow Office where the supervisor Roselynn Smith and Clay Kellam called us on December 24th, 2004 to inform us that they lacked police powers and were unable to do anything to help Clara.

A few days later Clara was left alone in a non handicapped hotel room , fell and became paralyzed never to walk again.

The ensuing legal fight led to a gorging by a horde of attorneys on Clara and Dr. Fernandez’s most liquid assets, and a four year civil court battle ensued across several counties, this depleted Clara and Dr. Fernandez assets down to the illiquid assets some of which were auctioned off on the courthouse steps by the negligent handling of Guardian attorney Donald E. Yates who neglected to pay the Real Estate Taxes of Real Estate belonging to the Estate of Clara G. Fernandez.

After Clara was brought home by family members who rescued her on a early morning raid with the help of Broward Co. Sheriff and EMT personnel, attorney Donald Yates was awarded guardianship over Clara G. Fernandez. Mr. Yates attempted to starve Clara out of her home by intercepting her social security payments over the course of a year and converting them for legal fees, not paying utilities bills forcing the cut off of water supply to her home, and otherwise making life impossible for this now 93 year old woman had it not been for the resourcefulness of family members who took Clara to the soup kitchens for the homeless in order to survive the blockade they would have indeed have succeeded in starving her out of her home, institutionalizing her, taking possession of her homestead and converting it over to legal fees….

When family members attempted to complaint to the Florida Key West Office of the Florida Children and Family (DCF) office we were told by the office supervisor in no uncertain term that if we persisted in pressing the issue we would ‘regret it’.

Dr. Fernandez did not survive the stress that he was subjected to and died on January 9th, 2006.

With the help of a Judge that understood the situation, the guardianship was terminated, the perpetrators Adalberto J Fernandez, a disgruntled family member and his ‘partner’ William A. Hart were forced to nullify the deed to Clara’s homestead to which they had helped themselves to, however they were rewarded with the deed to other properties, and were allowed to keep the money to which they had helped themselves to without any further recourse by family members who had to sign a compromise agreement in order to end the guardianship and save Clara from further legal harassment.

This is a classic case which instead of being swept under the rug forever should be studied in order to fix this badly broken system which allowed this and far too many incidents like these to happen.

We pray that the hell that Dr. Fernandez leading to his painful death precipitated by a hunger strike after being forceful separated from his wife of 58 years for purely financial reasons and the incapacitation of Clara G. Fernandez by getting caught in the crossfire while authorities stood by aiding and abetting this abuse is not lost forever in the memory of their children and caregivers but used as an example of why we must make changes and stop cannibalizing our own.

The suffering that we witnessed these two wonderful productive citizens go through has forever stripped us of all innocence that we might once had before we knew what elder abuse was and the suffering that we witnessed can only be parallel to the suffering of innocent people who were separated forever from their loved ones at Auschwitz much like Dr. Fernandez and Clara were.

by Ray Fernandez ray@elderabusehelp.org

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Stories of Denial