Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Suit alleges Helia Healthcare resident died due to negligence


By John Breslin | Jun 26, 2019

Medical malpractice 05

The staff at an elderly care facility are accused of failed to properly care for a resident, allegedly resulting in her death. 

Steven Fedderke, as special administrator of the estate of Shelly Fedderke, filed suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Helia Healthcare of Belleville, which is part of a larger elderly care provider based in Oak Park.

Steven Fedderke claims that certain actions taken by staff directly led to the death of Shelley Fedderke in October 2017.


Employees failed "to apply knowledge and use the skill and care" that would ordinarly be shown by medical care professionals.

Calls to Helia were directed to its head office but no-one returned requests for comment from the Madison County Record.

The complaint alleges two specific claims of negligence. The plaintiff claims staff failed to properly secure a tracheostomy tube and a low pressure alarm point was not properly set. The alarm goes off when a patient becomes disconnected from a ventilator, the suit states.

A tracheostomy tube is inserted into the area where a hole is made in the neck and windpipe. It enables an alternative method of breathing.

Fedderke's complaint states that the decedent's death caused "grief, sorrow, and permanent injuries and damage" to Shelly Fedderke's next of kin.

The next of kin have, according to the complaint, been "deprived of the reasonable value of her services , compassion,  comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, love, and support that they would have received thad the decedent not died."

Fedderke is bringing the action under Illinois' wrongful death statutes. He seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus court costs. 

The plaintiff is represented by Joseph Bartholomew of Cook Bartholomew Shevlin & Cook LLP in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 19-L-397

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