ATLANTA — "Overwhelmed, overwhelmed."
That's how Laquna Ross told WSB-TV she felt after she found her dad with swollen, red bumps all over his body and his hands swollen when she visited him last week before his death at the Eagle's Nest Community Living Center, a nursing home for veterans on the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center campus.
Ross said she was "worried and confused because that wasn't how he looked when I saw him the last time."
Ross' father, Joel Marrable, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.
Ross said Marrable was already in poor health.
"Yes, he had cancer. Yes, he was going to die," she said.
Ross said when she asked a center staffer about all the bumps, the staffer told her it was because of ants. Marrable was bitten more than 100 times, according to Ross.
"His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds. They were everywhere," Ross said. "The staff member says to me, ‘When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him.'"
Ross described how center workers bathed Marrable and cleaned his room but said the next day, they had an issue with the ants again.
Marrable got moved to a new room, where Ross said he later died.
"If it didn't promote his body to die quicker, what is the protocol within the VA just to manage when something like this happens?" Ross said.
While Ross is still waiting for those answers, there is one thing she knows for sure: "He served his country in the Air Force, and I think that he deserved better."
The VA sent WSB-TV the following statement:
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