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OC Hospital Closure Has Parents Worried About Future Of Severely Disabled Children

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TUSTIN (CBSLA.com) — Families are worried about plans to close an Orange County hospital that gives special care to severely disabled children.

Parents were told Newport Specialty Hospital in Tustin would be shutting down due to outstanding legal troubles of its parent company, Pacific Health Corp.

Vicky Tiu said she is terrified for her 8-year-old grandson, Darren, who has lived nearly his whole life with brain damage. He is one of nearly 30 children who are dependent on the care in the facility’s pediatric unit.

“I cannot even go to sleep, you know, day-by-day, we do not know what’s going to happen to him,” said Tiu. “He needs total care. He cannot speak. He cannot even say, ‘I’m in pain.’”

Delicia McFarland, whose son is also a patient, said there is no other subacute facility in the OC that can handle this class of patients.

Moreover, she said officials at Pacific Health Corp. have been vague about the date of the hospital’s closure.

“We don’t know if it will close in two days, we don’t know if it’ll close in 90 days, we don’t know if it’s 10 days,” said McFarland.

In addition, employees have been working at the facility without pay.

“I have not been paid for over a month now. I’m mad, I’m hungry, I’m sad, I’m in despair, I’m desperate,” a worker said.

Pacific Health Corp. released a statement Friday which said, in part, “The facility will continue to provide services to our special needs residents.”

Officials went on to say that the company will “ensure a safe and secure transfer to the most appropriate facility or other setting.”

Also on Friday, CalOptima, which administers Medi-Cal in Orange County, issued a $169,000 payment to Newport Specialty Hospital to cover supplies, utilities and some workers’ salaries.

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