Caretaker suspended after N.C. man who uses wheelchair rolls down stairs

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD/CNN) - A North Carolina mother says her son’s caretaker should be fired after she allegedly lied about an incident in which the man’s wheelchair rolled down the steps of their home.

Mother Toni Taylor has deemed the incident, which left her 20-year-old son scratched up, negligence on the caretaker’s part. (Source: Toni Taylor/WTVD/CNN)

Mother Toni Taylor’s security footage shows her 20-year-old son, who has cerebral palsy and is nonverbal, and his caretaker through Maxim Healthcare Services outside the Fayetteville, N.C, home on Monday.

As the caretaker opens the door, she is talking on the phone while her back is turned on the 20-year-old. Video shows the caretaker enter the home briefly, while the man stays outside.

Suddenly, the man’s wheelchair rolls backward down the steps. The caretaker runs to help him, as seen in the video footage.

“He’s trying to hold on. Can you imagine that? As someone with cerebral palsy, falling down six brick stairs. It breaks my heart,” Taylor said.

Taylor has deemed the incident, which left her son scratched up, negligence on the caretaker’s part. She also claims the caretaker lied about how the 20-year-old got the scratches.

“She was on her phone, which is against company policy to begin with. She did not secure his brakes, which is wheelchair rule No. 1,” the mother said. “And then she lined him up in front of the stairs.”

Maxim says it is aware of the incident, and the caretaker has been suspended, pending a full investigation.

“While there have been no prior incidents with this employee, we take the trust our patients and their families place in us very seriously and are committed to taking swift and appropriate action to ensure their safety,” said the company in a statement.

Taylor feels Maxim needs to do more.

"He fights every day. He has this awful disability, and for someone to be so careless in taking care of him…” the mother said. “Why isn’t she fired? I don’t understand. Is she going to be allowed to work with other children? Is she going to be allowed to do this to someone else?”

Taylor says the incident has left her feeling like she can’t trust anyone to watch over her son. She has put in her two weeks’ notice and plans to eventually care for him full time.

The mother says she will also file a police report.

Copyright 2019 WTVD, Toni Taylor via CNN. All rights reserved.