Some good news after a sad situation 11 Investigates first reported last month. A Pittsburgh family now has the ashes of their granddad thanks to the generosity of a stranger.
90-year old Paul Tyler died in a nursing home last fall and was cremated without the family’s knowledge. They didn’t have the funds to pay the $745 cremation fee to get their granddad’s ashes, but an anonymous donor who saw the story decided to step up and help.
“Thank you so much for whoever did this for me and my family. We are so thankful, and God is going to continue to bless you," said Tyler’s granddaughter, Danielle Miller.
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Miller arrived at Ball Funeral Home in Brookline Tuesday afternoon to pick up her granddad’s ashes. She was relieved to have him back and says it means a lot to her.
“He made me who I was today. My granddad was very endearing, you know. I love him, I miss his stories,” she said, fighting back tears.
Troubled Nursing Home
Tyler died last fall at the Corner View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Homewood. As 11 investigates first reported in February, the facility failed to notify the family of his death. Instead, it sent his remains to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office. His body was cremated after no one claimed him after several weeks.
"I'm sad that it had to happen this way, but I'm very thankful that somebody was able to step up and help my family," Miller said.
11 Investigates learned that Corner View nursing home has a history of serious violations. It’s on the federal government's Special Focus Facility list, which identifies the 400 most troubled nursing homes in the country, out of more than 15,000.
“I took care of him for a while, and I had to put him in a nursing home because I couldn’t take care of him no more,” Miller explained.
She regrets putting her trust in Corner View, but now is at least thankful to have her granddad's ashes in the family’s possession.
“I’m happy that I got my grandfather’s remains, and we can do a proper burial, a proper memorial.”
Miller did file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Health against the nursing home for not notifying her family when their grandfather died. Corner View told the state it didn’t have any family contact information, and that’s why it didn’t contact them. The state chose not to cite the facility.
Miller is dumbfounded by that decision. She says the facility should have had her contact information, because she was in touch with them multiple times this past year and before that, even signing the paperwork to admit him 7 years ago.
“This is crazy,” she said. “I’m not going to let this go, because justice is not being done here.”
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