JEWISH FAMILY & CHILDREN SERVICES IN THE SPOTLIGHT
‘I Just Want My Life Back’
69-Year-Old Reverend Thrown into Psych Ward by Government-Appointed Guardian
Calls Mass. Probate Judge Maureen Monks ‘CROOKED’
by Lonnie Brennan
One of this newspaper’s aims is to give voice to the voiceless. From our first issue, we helped to share information and smuggled notes from Justina Pelletier, the teenage girl taken from her family by Boston’s Children’s Hospital with the complicity of the Massachusetts government. Since that first issue, these pages have focused the spotlight on questionable government actions and the subsequent horrors inflicted upon children, families, and seniors.
Perhaps, because of those stories, we are now routinely contacted by those in need and do what we can to help share their stories – give voice to the voiceless.
This is Reverend Mary Frank’s story. Recorded in her own words from the room she has shared for the past four months with two other residents at her current nursing home. She went from living in a little apartment to now sharing a 16×25 foot room with only hospital curtains providing partial privacy between each resident. Mary relates how she was snatched out of her apartment and sent to a lock-down dementia ward for 3+ years.
With the exception of our initial questions, all of these words are hers. Each and every one. With regret, the spelling of some names cannot be confirmed at this time. We explain why at the end of the article.
QUESTION TO OUR READERS: After reading this, ask yourself: Is this a person who should have been ripped from her home and confined to a lock-down dementia unit?
As dictated by Mary Frank:
Broadside: As you know, I’m here to take your statement.
Broadside: Could you please state your name.
Mary: Mary Frank
Broadside: And you understand that this conversation is being recorded.
Mary: Yes. Of course [as she glances at the tape recorder and camera].
Broadside: And we have your permission.
Mary: Absolutely. You can record me, take photos. I have letters. Yes. Absolutely. I want this out. People need to know.
[Mary then went on to explain her living situation before being “snatched” and placed in a nursing home, and many of the details along the way. Printed below is a just a small portion of her story. We’ll print more in future issues, as space allows.]
Mary: I loved my little apartment. You could only fit a twin bed in there. It was a 1960s walk-up garden apartment. I loved it because it was small. It was perfect. I didn’t have to go far with the wheelchair. I could do my own cooking. I could do cleaning. I could do personal care. But I couldn’t go to the drug store. I couldn’t go get food. So, I said OK, if I’m eligible [for home healthcare services], that’s good.
Minuteman Senior Services was the vehicle…they send out to Best Home and Partners [contracted home healthcare services], and so I got this wonderful girl. For a year, I loved her. I adored her. But in the end, I found out she was stealing from me. The food stamps, the money wasn’t lasting. I was too trusting. I never even saw it coming. It broke my heart. It’s indigenous to this form of work: we’re easy pickings. They steal.
And then I got a series of the worst – just the worst [caregivers]. One didn’t have a car. One walked around in sneakers saying I don’t buy white women food. I didn’t know we had white women food! It was just a disaster. And then I got a Lisa Bartlett, from Best Home. And she was good, but she would only do – they all would only do – except for the one that stole, she did the three hours – they wouldn’t do the three hours – and Lisa was like 20 minutes to 40 minutes. And I said I would like my three hours.
And, they wanted me to sign a paper that said they were doing three hours. They were getting $18.70 per hour. In my mind, that’s defrauding the federal government. What I found out later was that that money … they were giving kickbacks. That money that they were earning – they weren’t working for it – they were giving kickbacks to Michelle Coakley and Minuteman protective services. I was aghast. I mean, not that I’m ordained [Mary had explained that she was ordained as a Pentecostal minister], but it’s fraud. That’s a clear case of fraud.
I said, I can’t sign this. I can’t sign this paper. I want you to do the three hours.
Mary (cont.): Before I knew it, Michelle Coakley shows up with her fists like this [Mary holding her fists up tightly gripped], and said, ‘sign the papers.’ I said, Michelle, you’re supposed to be upset about this [the fraud]. I thought she was going to strike me. She was outraged and said to sign it, or you’ll be sorry. I didn’t understand the vitriol that was coming out of this woman. I come from a place of peace and love. I didn’t get it.
In September of 2013 there was a knock on the door…they handcuffed me. Threw me in an ambulance and took me to Mount Auburn Hospital on a Section 12 for psych.
I didn’t know it was a Section 12 then. I didn’t know what was happening. Nobody would talk to me. I have a heart condition. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I couldn’t understand what was going on. So, I’m in the emergency room in Mount Auburn. Rick Hayes was the psych guy. And he ended up being Pentecostal, which was unusual, as there’s not that many of us up here [in New England].
First, they did two hours on me getting my blood pressure down and my heartrate. That’s how upset I was. I heard a nurse say ‘she’s going to have a stroke.’ My blood pressure was sky high, my heart rate … I had monitors on. They did that first. Then he [Dr. Hayes] came in and talked to me, and after 50 minutes he said, ‘you’re not psychotic.’ I said, ‘no kidding!’ He said, well, they told me that you were in your own excrement and your urine and that you threw out your nurse. And I said, ah excuse me? As fastidious as I am. I never, I mean, I knew. He knew. He knew because the Lord is illuminating to him. He knew this was bogus.
He kept me there all day. He told me Michelle Coakley wants you put on the psych ward. I had said to her [Michelle] that I would do a thing about harassment if they didn’t stop [trying to get me to sign documents], and I would call the attorney general’s office because this is fraud, and she said I’ll put you somewhere where you won’t be able to do anything. It just never occurred to me [I would end up in the hospital].
It was the worst day. Then he [Dr. Hayes] went and talked to my cousin Norma in Connecticut, who can wipe all the air out of the room [a force to be reckoned with]. And he [Dr. Hayes] came back and told me ‘you’re going home.’
Mary (cont.): Three weeks later – in October – they knocked on the door again. And I said, ‘who’s signing these [psych] papers?’ Because she [Coakley] got somebody who never even saw me – a psychiatrist – to sign the papers. The fraud was unbelievable…and they were so mean to me. They treated me like I was some kind of a criminal. My arms were all full of bruises. They pushed me around.
[Doctor] Rick Hayes saw me. He said, ‘what are you doing here?’ And I was there, and what he did was he went and got his colleague, and she leaned over and she said, ‘we’re going to get you out of here.’ I said, what is this? Is this legal? What is going on? And the nurse came in and put her arms around me. And she said, be careful because she [Coakley] is not going to stop. She said I know people like this. They’re not going to stop…
This is insane… I don’t belong in a psych ward. So, I got sent home.
But, she [Coakley] showed up again and said, I’ll put you somewhere where you’ll never get out. I said, Michelle, you need to sit down. You need to let me help you. And she pushed my arm. And she went.
Mary (cont.): November, I got a summons to go to probate and family court for a hearing regarding guardianship. And I couldn’t, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe she was going to go this far. It’s an obsession – and obsession is a mental illness – I recognize that, it’s a very bad thing to have.
So, November 20th it was set for, and I was just going to show up and tell the judge what she did to me. That there’s just no way, no way, I’m going to get a guardian.
November 18th, I woke up [with leg problems]. I went to Beth Israel… I should explain – regarding getting my knees replaced… I wanted to get fixed. I had to get fixed. I was so proud of myself; I had lost 100 pounds on Herbalife [to get my weight down before surgery]. You take a shake in the morning, a shake in the afternoon, and you can have a cow for supper if you want! It melted off me. And my friends were saying to me you’re so skinny, which had never happened to me before. My father was 400 pounds. My mother was 280. I’m Italian. You can’t help me, you know, it’s hereditary. But I got it off. It was nice to be chubby instead of fat … but my knees, they had exploded. I had to get to the hospital.
But first, I called Mary Kay Connelly who was the lawyer for Minuteman. A more crooked lawyer there isn’t in this world. Just a despot. I came to understand about this woman. I called her twice, because it [the court summons] said that if you needed an extension [shakes head – no response from Connelly]. And then I called the courthouse and said I needed an extension, and I got just yah, yah from the court. No answers. So, I went to the hospital.
I was getting an IV… and I’m thinking, they [the court, Coakley, and Connelly] don’t know I’m in the hospital. Then, I got a call from my neighbor who told me they broke down my door on the 19th, the day before the 20th. I never would have gotten to court. I never would have made that hearing anyway.
They must have broken the door down to take me again so that I couldn’t make the hearing. So, in a way, God protected me by putting me in the hospital, because who knows where they would have put me this time. If it wasn’t with [Dr,] Rick [Hayes], who would have sent me back, I don’t know.
But I didn’t get the extension. I wasn’t in the courtroom. I didn’t have a lawyer and I had no due process. I know about due process. I went to Yale and I have an American History degree. I taught history. I was the youngest history teacher in Connecticut. I knew that you had to be in there with a lawyer. It’s due process.
I didn’t know then about Judge [Maureen] Monks – that she was crooked, that it was all crooked. I didn’t know. I don’t think that way. But I knew something was wrong. And then this woman walks in named Robin Kosnick and proceeded to tell me, ‘I’m going to put you away.’ And I said, who are you? And she said, I’m the guardian.
Mary (cont.): Now, Minuteman Senior Services picks out the guardian. It should be an autonomous guardian, or it should be a family member, or a friend – until you can prove you’re OK. It shouldn’t be somebody who is connected with the people who did this to you. She said, Michelle told me what to do with you. I’m putting you away.
And [my] mind is spinning, like this. And you know, because she was the guardian, I had to stay here. They couldn’t move me from Beth Israel. But when I was healed, the first thing they tried to do was put me in a flop house in Everett. I couldn’t believe it. There were people on the floor. There was urine. People were urinating on blankets and thank God the ambulance driver was, oh no, you’re not staying here. They brought me back. They wouldn’t do it [leave me there]. She [Robin] had a fit.
And then she tried it again. In Cambridge…but the rector there sent me back…but I was there for two months while she was waiting for a bed to open up at Sudbury Pines in Sudbury. She put me in the dementia unit.
There should be – there’s got to be – a law somewhere.
And out of all of this, my prayer is that maybe we can get a state senator or a state rep. to have some hearings at the State House that you have to have an autonomous guardian, [and] that you have to be in that courtroom … that you cannot be put in a dementia unit. I was put in a dementia unit! Everybody there had dementia! Everybody’s in diapers! Nobody could use a phone. Nobody could talk. And the men would come in and take off their diapers and try to get in bed with you naked.
It was like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest [movie]. And I’m there for three-and-a-half years.
But they didn’t want me there, because I could see what they were doing. I have my mind. I could see the abuse: throwing people in bed at seven o’clock, not changing diapers, them crying for water and not getting water. And there was a man across the way. They said he was psychotic. He was having a heart attack and he died. So, they section-twelved me to the Carney in Dorchester. But my knees, my legs, the fluid was coming out of my legs. And so, no, they sent me back…
And the doctor there. I pray he loses his license. I made a complaint and he told me he would kill me if I made complaints. The first day he met me, he looked at my bible and he said, ‘that’s what’s wrong with you – that you’re a Christian.’ I said, that’s everything that’s right about me.
I was a mess before I went to seminary. God made this woman out of that mess. That’s what’s right about me. He [the doctor] was Hindu and he hates Christians…
There’s so much of it – I have to go back and explain to you – [in the court] they told the judge that I refused care and that I threw a nurse out and that I was in my own excrement and urine. And yes, I was sitting in my apartment with a social worker when a big tall man walked in. He didn’t knock, he just walked in. And he didn’t say much and he left, and it was him who said [through the courts] he spoke to me. I thought we were going to get raped. He never rang the doorbell. He walked right in. These people are so corrupted and underhanded – the things that they do…
The evil and the, the – it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around it – the brutality of these people.
Jesus said that we all have a mansion [in heaven]. I’ll settle for a ranch. I really don’t need a mansion. But we’ll see when I get there. Laughter’s a wonderful thing. I have a good sense of humor and I’ve kept it, and I’m glad. That’s what’s kept me [and then she teared]…”
Mary went on to give more background regarding her experience. She praised many of the nurses at her current nursing home. She related a fire at her apartment complex which she said terrorized her in 1996 and how after the fire, people had made donations to the residents, but all of her apartment contents were taken by her guardian. She has no idea where they are. She would love to have medical attention for her legs and body and find a nice small apartment where she can take care of herself again, and not have a guardian keep her as a prisoner.
Where are My Personal Belongings?
Mary requested that this newspaper try to find out where her electric wheelchair is, and her glasses and personal belongings. She provided the name and phone number of her guardian, Pam Dicolo (spelling unsure at this time) and said that she has been asking for months and gets no reply. She said that all her clothes, except one dress, as well as her personal belongings, her wig, makeup, and other items are being held by her guardian, as well as all her personal care items.
We did reach out to the guardian and got no response. However, we did receive a response from a woman explaining that she was the “spokesperson” for the guardian, and handles all reporter inquiries. After explaining that Mary requested us to find out what was up with her electric wheelchair and other items, we were told everything would be taken care of. The following day (Nov. 17, 2017), Mary left us a voice message, exclaiming her joy that “Julie showed up with three bags full of things for me.” She listed various personal care items she received, but still awaits her own clothes, wig, makeup and glasses.
A few days later, an electric wheelchair showed up, but it was “a tiny thing that I could never fit in. It wasn’t mine.” She’s still waiting.
Court Files Go Missing/Scrubbed,
Despite Electronic Log Entries
As for the court documents? Despite repeated efforts of the court clerks, all of Mary Frank’s files are reported missing. Yes, read that again. The court files are missing for Docket No. MI 3P5348GD. We even went so far as to engage the help of an attorney to attempt to view the files. All the court clerks could do is confirm that, yes, there were more than 16 entries, still logged in their computers, but all of Mary Frank’s court documents are missing. We’ve placed a written “File Search Request” with the Middlesex Probate and Family Court, and asked to be notified should the files ever mysteriously re-appear. Cue the crickets.
A Sharp Contrast: Praise for
Everyone at Marlborough Hills
Mary provided our paper with a follow-up conversation in which she added the following praise to her current providers at Marlborough Hills Rehabilitation Center: “The nurses, the calming effect of Chris, sweet Gail, my dear Sally who can handle any emergency, at any time, and we all feel very safe with her here at night; conscientious Jackie – a wonderful nurse; and Wendy, a tough veteran nurse who has a heart of gold, and will walk over a million people to get to something one of her patients needs – she’s a nurse’s nurse. Everybody in the maintenance department, Bob and Mr. Carpenter, everybody in the kitchen, everybody in the laundry, and all the aides: sweet baby James, my little Stella, Ryan and Carlos and [inaudible], and Carmina – too many to mention, all of them. Oh, and my wonderful social worker, Logan, who gives so tirelessly, and I’ve come to love.
I have received kindness from this place, and yes, even love. I have been treated with respect and dignity, and it has put a balm of healing on my heart, and assuaged the pain that I received from Sudbury Pines – the cruelty I received there. And I have one more thank you: to the editor of this paper, for his kindness, and his caring, and his thoughtfulness, and his wanting to help people, and most of all, his courage. Him I want to thank the most.”
Mary Needs A Champion Lawyer – She Needs Funding to Get Her Life Back
Mary said she needs funds to fight back and restore her life. She has no way of raising funds, she said, without all money going to her guardian instead of helping to get her away from the guardian.
The Mary Frank Fund
After various inquires and consultations, we’ve made the decision to help in the process to establish a legal defense fund for Mary.
Please make your checks out to “The Boston Broadside” with the name “Mary Frank Fund” in the memo section. Send checks to The Boston Broadside, P.O. Box 4200, Peabody, MA 01961.
We will send you a receipt for your donation to Mary Frank’s defense fund, and provide you with updates regarding her fund, and any and all expenditures from it. All funds will be held by the Boston Broadside at this time – solely for the use of Mary Frank, and firmly held separate from Mary Frank’s guardian and others who she says are working against her. Without your help, she is defenseless.
She wants the money to be spent on a lawyer of her choosing who will set her free. Please be as generous as you can. If you know anyone of means, please consider taking on this challenging case.
Mary noted in a follow-up interview just prior to publication that people have been so generous to help a poor dog – raising $16,000 in days – and to a worthy homeless veteran, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in just days, and if she could receive help, she could fight to get her life back. Mary needs your help now. ♦