Dad and mom of lady, 4, who died of adenovirus in New Jersey facility say daughter was ‘uncared for’


The parents of a four-year-old girl who died in a viral outbreak of adenovirus at a New Jersey pediatric care facility are calling for it to be shut down.

Dorcase Dolcin is one of 10 severely disabled children who died at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Haskell. 

In total, 27 children and one staff member have contracted the illness – with 17 currently battling the infection.

The outbreak was reported days after inspectors found ‘handwashing deficiencies’ at the facility, which houses elderly people and children.

Dorcase was born developmentally disabled due to a lack of oxygen while in the womb, leaving her completely incapacitated and immunocompromised.

Her parents, Modeline Auguste and Ocrioimy Dolcin, are accusing the staff of negligence, saying they often found their daughter sitting in dirty diapers and that she wasn’t even given a flu shot prior to her death.

Dorcase, who is the couple’s only child, was born in September 2014 severely disabled due to a lack of oxygen while Auguste was pregnant with her.

Her parents told that she spent the first three months of her life in a neo-natal intensive care unit.

Dorcase had to use a ventilator to breathe, required a feeding tube, and never spoke a word. Her parents knew she needed full-time care.

She was first placed at the Voorhees Pediatric Facility, a long-term care center where four children have been diagnosed with adenovirus in a separate outbreak.

In June 2016, Dorcase was moved to the Wanaque Center, which is closer to her parents’ home in East Orange and where they would visit her almost every other day.

However, there were several occasions on which her mother and father say they found their daughter ‘neglected’.

Multiple times, Dorcase was wearing a double diaper – meaning staff were waiting for longer periods to change her – and they even saw feces on her body.

‘She was dirty with poop. Even the chair was dirty,’ Auguste told

‘When they don’t know you are coming, the baby was always dirty,’ Dolcin told the website.

Dolcin says the healthcare workers didn’t even give Dorcase a flu shot.

‘It is negligence because they don’t take full responsibility for what happened over there,’ he told ‘They’re just satisfied to make money, not to take care of the sick people.’ 

Auguste told that, on September 30, Dorcase developed a fever that was rising and falling over the course of several days.

Her parents begged the Wanaque Center to send her to the hospital, but staff allegedly told them they were ‘waiting for the doctor’.

On October 4, a nurse told Auguste that there was blood around her daughter’s trach.  

‘I said: “Send her to the hospital”,’ Auguste said. ‘They were still waiting for the doctor.’

Finally, the next evening, Dorcase was taken to Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson.

Doctors told the parents that she had pneumonia and a stomach infection, the couple told 

By October 7, Dorcase was unresponsive to treatments and, on October 8, she passed away.

The next day, October 9, was when the Wanaque Center contacted the state for the first time to inform health officials about the outbreak. 

Adenoviruses usually do not cause any complications and symptoms resolve themselves.

However, among children like Dorcase, who have weakened immune systems, adenoviruses increase the risk of developing a severe illness or neurological diseases. 

On October 31, the New Jersey Department of Health issued its report after a surprise inspection of the facility found that its staff were negligent about hand-washing.

The report stated that ‘four out of six staff were deficient with their hand hygiene technique.’ 

The couple did not know other children had fallen ill until they started seeing other parents they knew at the hospital.

Health Commissioner Dr Shereef Elnahal told it’s not possible for Wanaque to shut down due to the lack of pediatric care facilities in the state – there are only three others.

But Auguste and Dolcin say they believe closing the center is the only way to prevent another child from getting sick and dying. 

‘In order for me to be happy, the facility has to be closed,’ Auguste told the website.


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