Jim Ferguson wanted answers.
How was his 91-year-old father, who served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, fatally injured in a Veterans Affairs nursing home, the institution Ferguson had entrusted to care for him?
Huddled around a computer monitor with managers at the VA in Des Moines, Iowa, Ferguson watched a hallway surveillance video that depicted a chilling blow to his father’s head.
“I lost it,” Ferguson told USA TODAY. “I broke down.”
In the video, James “Milt” Ferguson Sr., who had dementia and was legally blind, appears confused. He opens a hallway door, rolls his wheelchair into another resident’s room, then wheels back out. No staff members are visible. He circles around and heads back into the room.