14th Patient Dies After Hollywood Nursing Home Tragedy - NBC Connecticut
After Irma

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14th Patient Dies After Hollywood Nursing Home Tragedy

Cecilia Franco, 90, passed away after husband, 93-year-old Miguel Franco, also died after the tragedy

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    Two more elderly patients who lived inside a stifling Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing the total to 14, authorities said Monday.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 9, 2017)

    Two more elderly patients who lived inside a stifling Florida nursing home that lost its air conditioning during Hurricane Irma have died, bringing the total to 14, authorities said Monday.

    Cecilia Franco, 90 and Francesca Andrade, 96, have died, Hollywood police officials confirmed.

    Franco's husband, 93-year-old Miguel Franco, also died after the tragedy.

    "The family is in extreme mourning right now, the pain is cut so deeply having lost not one but two parents and grandfather, and grandmother, they're in a virtual state of shock," family attorney Albert Levin said.

    Levin said that although Cecilia suffered from Alzheimers, she was in stable condition up until the storm. The family is convinced she died because of negligence.

    "There's no question that the conditions at the nursing home contributed to her demise, 26 days after the passing of her husband of 62 years. That's not an issue whatsoever, this woman didn't die of something unrelated to this incident," Levin said.

    Franco and Andrade are the latest victims to succumb to the sweltering heat inside the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills.

    More than 100 patients were evacuated from the home on Sept. 13 after three patients were found dead. Five more died later that day and others died in the following days. Some who died had body temperatures as high as 109.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The dead range in age from 57 to 99. No one has been charged but the incident is being treated as a criminal investigation.

    Police said they are treating the most recent deaths as part of the criminal investigation, unless otherwise advised by the medical examiner's office.

    Cecilia Franco with family members.
    Photo credit: Franco Family

    The Franco family has already filed a wrongful death lawsuit and a negligence lawsuit against the center. The negligence suit will now be upgraded to a wrongful death lawsuit, Levin said. 

    Last week, it was announced that the facility had laid off 245 workers.