Published accounts of abuses:
An unpublished story:
and/orState Senator Beverly Hammerstrom R- Michigan
who can also be reached by email
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Michael Rowe is a person with a disability due to a motorcycle accident (Sept. 1982) at the age of 16. He lived in foster care for fourteen years after his accident, graduated from high school, took part in the Battle Creek Disabled Sports and, United Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association. Mike is a wheelchair user. He has a speech impediment and ataxia. (He shakes.) Family and friends describe a bright, happy, out-going fun loving person. Hoping to recover his independence through intense rehabilitation, Mike moved to a "rehab center."
There he was molested. He had his first seizure. The nightmare had begun. He moved from one rehab center only to find himself in another. Before his attacker was convicted, even before that trial began, Michael Lee Rowe was pronounced a "legally incapacitated person." As a result, all mail is sent to his guardian. He is to live only in a licensed facility certified to treat brain injury until a treating physician releases him from such restrictions. Until he is medically able and ready, he cannot live in a less restrictive environment. Although the judge wrote that "maximum contact should be allowed with family and friends." The facility prefers to accent the part of the opinion where the judge continued, "unless it interferes with his medical progress or safety." Mike is not allowed to receive phone calls. Only immediate family may visit, and they must schedule visits with the facility in advance. According to a two-year-old memo, “…visits will be periodically supervised“. In other words, a staff member will check on the visitor(s) and Mike to insure that the content of discussion is in compliance with agreed format.” A monthly summary dated August 1, 1998, states "Mike has attempted to leave the facility when frustrated or angry. The behavior plan is that Mr. Rowe is to pick a safe spot somewhere on the facility grounds. When angry, he is to be encouraged to go to that spot."
Mike is an easy target to be found mentally incompetent. He does not have mental problems. He has a physical head injury. Effective December 24, 1998, Michael Rowe was taking the following medications: Dilantin 100 mg. - 1 tablet at 8 AM and 3 at 8 PM; Prozac 20 mg. – 1 tablet at noon; Depakote 1500 mg. - 3 tablets (4500 mg.) at 8 AM, 3 tablets (4500 mg.) at noon, and 4 more tablets (6000 mg.) at 8 PM. Mike “complains that he is very fatigued on these medications but the doctor states he MAY be at a higher risk for seizure activity without them."
The facility is not a charity. It receives payments from an insurance company for Mike to reside there. Court records state he is maintained at his level, in other words he receives no rehab therapy. For this living arrangement, a room shared with another person, payments are at minimum $300 a day, with “extras” $12,000 a month, nearly $150,000 each year.
Mike is now unable to hold his head up, spends his days staring or sleeping. The first two pictures of Mike were taken the summer of 1998 at a friend's home. Does he appear to be mentally incapacitated, drooling, unable to hold up his head? Those friends now have restraining orders placed upon them they are unable to phone, send cards, mail, gifts or visit. This last picture is more current. Mike is still held against his will. He is under medication. He is unable to hold his head up. Don't you think Mike deserves better treatment? Why should he, or any of the thousand others, be so abused?
In 2006 August a pastor contacted the guardian requesting a visit with Michael due to concerns that Michael's spiritual needs were not being met. After numerous requests, the pastor was told that Michael attends church services in the rehab center and reportedly was not interested in a pastoral visit from the pastor. The pastor then sent a letter to the guardian citing this denial was a violation of Michaels civil rights and the pastor stated he had an obligation to speak to Micheal face to face. He informed the facility when he expected to arrive, upon arrival was denied admittance.
COURT: If you believe you are being treated unfairly, save all documentation and submit your complaints to your judge in writing. If you are still unhappy, write to your county's chief judge.
POLICE: If fraud has occurred, you could report your problem to your police department.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: The state Attorney General's Office investigates fraud. If your loved one is in an institution such as a nursing home or home for the aged and has had problems, call (800) 242-2873 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or leave a message anytime.
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR: Questions or concerns about a county public administrator may be directed to the state public administrator, Andrew Quinn, (517) 373-1145, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
ATTORNEY GRIEVANCE COMMISSION: If your guardian or conservator is an attorney, you could also file a complaint with the Attorney Grievance Commission. Call (313) 961-6585 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.