An aged care resident from Sydney may have his death investigated after friends and family discovered he was neglected and living in squalid conditions at his aged care home in the inner-west.
Nicholas O’Neill was 65 when he died at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in December 2020, after being admitted for a “chronic, terminal illness”.
However, friends are now demanding an autopsy after they received anonymous letters alleging the man was mistreated in his final months.
After receiving letters and photos claiming to be from staff of O’Neill’s inner-west aged care facility, friends discovered that he had regularly been left in soiled clothes, and was being washed infrequently. One photograph showed maggots in a pair of soiled underpants.
“He was not washed or had his clothes changed … he was in terrible pain and discomfort,” the letter said.
A second letter claimed, “… flies kept flying around him”.
In an interview with 7NEWS, a friend of O’Neill, Bryan Wiseman, said he “didn’t deserve this,” and became distressed when discussing his friend’s abhorrent living conditions.
“Nick suffered for weeks and weeks and weeks,” Wiseman told 7NEWS.
“[He was] left with compacted faeces with maggots in it – how worse can that get?”
A file obtained by 7NEWS from the facility recorded only 25 instances of O’Neill being showered in the previous 14 months.
O’Neill’s friends are now requesting an autopsy of the 65-year-old’s body.
“I want to know what he actually really died of,” friend Antony Millard said.
“We need an independent investigation, which is why I’ve written to the independent healthcare complaints commission,” said Shadow Health Minister, Ryan Park.
HelloCare reached out to Mr Wiseman for an update on the situation, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.