Ants Bit Father, Covered the Walls at Georgia VA Home, Woman Says

Atlanta VA Medical Center (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Atlanta VA Medical Center (Department of Veterans Affairs)

DECATUR, Ga. — A Georgia woman says her father was bitten more than 100 times by ants at a government veterans' home where his room was full of insects.

Laquna Ross found her father Joel Marrable with swollen, red bumps all over his body when she visited him at the nursing home near Atlanta last week before his death, she told WSB-TV.

The Air Force veteran was dying of cancer, Ross said.

"His room had ants, the ceiling, the walls, the beds," Ross said. "They were everywhere."

"The staff member says to me, 'When we walked in here, we thought Mr. Marrable was dead. We thought he wasn't even alive, because the ants were all over him,'" she added.

Employees bathed her father and cleaned the room, but the ants were still around the next day, Ross said. Marrable was then moved to a new room, where he died, she said.

In a statement, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Health Care System said it was told the ants were affecting patients. All of the bedrooms at the Eagle's Nest Community Living Center have been cleaned, and a pest control company is monitoring conditions, the VA statement said.

"We would like to express our heartfelt remorse and apology to the Veterans' families and have reached out to them to offer appropriate assistance," the statement said.

Ross said that her father served his country, "and I think that he deserved better.

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