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September 6th, 2010

A Chicago nursing home worker was sentenced to two years in prison for nursing home abuse after he admitted to stealing a patient’s painkiller medication.

The 25-year-old former worker at Fair Oaks Health Care Center in Crystal Lake was caught on video surveillance poking holes in the patients Fentanyl patch and licking the contents off his fingers. He plead guilty to a charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and was court ordered to undergo substance abuse treatment while in prison.

The resident, 92-year-old Ruth Vermillion, has Alzheimer’s disease and relies on the painkiller patch to ease her pain throughout the day.

“The only quality of life she has is to be pain free, and he took that away from her,” said her son, James Vermillion. “I would like him to eventually become a productive member of society. I think we have to be held accountable for our actions, and am glad he’s getting some jail time, but I’m also glad to see he’s getting the help he needs.”

Assistant McHenry County State’s Attorney David Metnick said the man who stole Vermillion’s medication wrote in a statement to police that he has a drug problem and also suffers from depression and anxiety. Metnick said the man wrote that he needed help and didn’t mean to cause pain to Ruth and her family.


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