Missing Christmas Gift For Nursing Home Resident

A Christmas present sent for an elderly East Texas woman made it to her nursing home but not into her room.

For out of town families with loved ones in nursing homes it's not unusual to mail a Christmas gift during the holidays. When official delivery notification is received you naturally assume the intended recipient got the gift. But KLTV 7 found one East Texas woman at Briarcliff Health Center in Tyler never received hers.

70 year old Shirley Jackson loves Christmas, but this year part of her Christmas never made it to her.

"My sister mailed a package and Briarcliff signed for it and mother never did receive it," said Daniel Ellis, Shirley Jackson's son who lives in Tyler.

A gift from Shirley's daughter Lisa, who lives out of town.

"It wasn't much but my sister took a lot of pride in sending this," said Ellis.

However, Shirley's nightgown, candy, and cookies worth about a hundred dollars, never got to her hands. Once the family found out, they contacted Briarcliff.

"My sister Lisa talked to someone at Briarcliff they said come on down and we'll give you a gift card and go get your gift and everything will be all right," said Ellis.

But according to the family that's not what happened. When Ellis went two days after Christmas to pick up the $60 gift card that was offered, they handed him a bill instead.

"My mother hadn't even been there but thirteen days I get a bill for December and January. I just don't feel that's right," said Ellis.

The home told Ellis to pay the bill, which is still in dispute today, before they would give him the card.

Friday, after calling three times with no answer, we went in person to question Briarcliff employees about this complaint. We were turned away with no comment, told the administrator was not available. And it wasn't our first try. We put the health center on notice last Monday that we were investigating the family's complaint.

"They can't explain what happened to it. It got mixed up with the Salvation Army gifts. Apparently it was give out with those," questioned Ellis, "I mean how could that happen. This package had my mom's name all over it?"

After Daniel confronted the home about the missing package, he received a letter from Briarcliff saying they could no longer meet his mother's needs. The letter said she needed to be out by the end of January.

"The grinch that stole the Christmas from the nursing home," said Ellis.

He has since moved his mother to another facility and says she's better off where she is now. Still he wonders about other unknowing residents and their loved ones presents.

"It's kinda sad. Makes you wonder did everybody get their gift," said Ellis.

Now we're told the administrator will be back in the office on Monday and we will following up on what happened to this gift.

A theft report was filed by the family with Tyler Police. They say an investigator has not been assigned the case.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com