Dayton, Ohio Family Sues Nursing Home After Nursing Home Staff Leaves Resident Alone to Choke to Death

An autopsy performed by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed that Ronald Wysong choked to death. This was after a nursing home staff member observed him visibly in distress, choking, and begging for help without offering any assistance and instead left him alone in his room to suffer and ultimately die. This incident, amongst countless other rights violations, was captured on the family’s camera that was legally placed in their father’s room. 

Michael Hill Trial Law is pursuing a lawsuit on behalf of Ronald Wysong’s family against Ohio-based nursing facility Sanctuary at Wilmington Place located in Dayton, Ohio. The case alleges negligence, wrongful death, and violations of nursing home resident rights laws. The lawsuit is Estate of Ronald H. Wysong v. Sanctuary at Wilmington Place aka AHF Ohio, Inc., et al. and is pending in Montgomery County, Ohio. 

The lawsuit states that Mr. Wysong became a resident of Sanctuary at Wilmington Place on January 1, 2022. Ronald Wysong was admitted as a resident to Sanctuary at Wilmington Place for skilled nursing services following a fall that resulted in fractures to his left shoulder and hip. Upon arrival at Sanctuary at Wilmington Place,  the facility was informed that Ronald’s advance directive code status was “full code” which means in the event he became unresponsive and stopped breathing, the staff needed to begin CPR. 

When Ronald arrived at the facility, his family members placed a video camera in his room of which the Sanctuary staff was aware of. The video footage immediately revealed ongoing actions by Sanctuary staff members such as: refusing to assist Ronald while he was eating, ignoring his cries for help, aggressively pushing on his post-surgical left shoulder and hip while changing him, and failing to acknowledge his ongoing complaints of having trouble breathing amongst other things. 

The lawsuit further states that Ronald was on a strict liquid diet while he was a resident at Sanctuary at Wilmington Place and therefore the facility knew that he was at risk of choking. Further, the video footage showed that there were several occasions where Ronald was having coughing-type attacks shortly after eating something, which Sanctuary at Wilmington Place staff members observed and did little to nothing about. 

On January 16, 2022, Ronald finished eating his lunch around 1:30PM. His assigned nurse gave him a dose of medication around 2:30PM. A few minutes thereafter, Ronald’s assigned nursing aide came into his room as he told her that he was having a hard time breathing and muttered, “Help me!” to her while visibly struggling to breathe. Instead of addressing his breathing problem, his nursing aide laid him flat on his back to change him and began rotating his body left and right while Ronald coughed aggressively. 

His coughing quickly switched to visible distress and choking. His nursing aide handed him a small container to vomit in and left Ronald alone in his room without checking on why he was having difficulty breathing or alerting nursing staff that he was in serious distress.

The same nursing aide returned to Ronald’s room approximately 20 minutes later and found Ronald completely unresponsive, slumped against the wall with his mouth open. She left his room again without checking to see if he was breathing, taking any vital statistics, or attempting CPR despite Ronald’s “full code” status. 

Ronald Wysong’s nurse was on break smoking a cigarette in her car, so the nursing aide found another nurse to render CPR for her. It isn’t until approximately 30 minutes after Ronald became unresponsive that a nurse starts to do chest compressions but quickly stops. Another staff member asked the nurse, “Want them to call 911?” and she responded by saying, “No, please wait because we will get sued. He is a full code and we have to keep doing CPR until they get here.” Then that same nurse walked out of Robert’s room.

Over the next several minutes, Ronald’s assigned nurse comes back from her cigarette break and starts to perform CPR and requests someone retrieve the crash cart. Upon retrieval, the Sanctuary at Wilmington Place nurse realized that the suction machine in the crash cart did not work, preventing life-saving intervention, because the staff was not performing routine checks as required. None of the nursing staff who responded to Ronald Wysong had active CPR certification. 

Eventually, EMS arrived at Sanctuary at Wilmington Place to assist Mr. Wysong. Using their own equipment, the EMTs suctioned an entire canister of fluid from Ronald’s airway. They continued to perform CPR in an attempt to revive Ronald for over 30 minutes with no luck. 

The lawsuit claims that Sanctuary at Wilmington Place failed to provide proper care and treatment to Ronald Wysong, which they should have known he required. The lawsuit further claims that Sanctuary at Wilmington Place was chronically and systematically understaffed and points to publicly available records from Medicare demonstrating that the facility was below average in staffing for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and aides. 

“This lawsuit exposes the disturbing reality of nursing home activities. Thanks to the family’s decision to install a video camera in Ronald’s room, we can now witness the events that led to his tragic death. It emphasizes the crucial need to support families who have lost ones to nursing home abuse and neglect. By advocating for them, we seek justice and aim to prevent similar tragedies in the future, ensuring the safety and dignity of all nursing home residents,” says trial attorney Michael Hill.  

The lawsuit requests compensatory damages as well as punitive damages to deter similar conduct in the future. Trial is set for January 2025. 

Who is Sanctuary at Wilmington Place? 

The Sanctuary nursing homes are part of the AHF Ohio, Inc. chain. There are numerous Sanctuary-owned nursing homes located throughout the State of Ohio.

The Sanctuary at Tuttle Crossing4880 Tuttle Road, Dublin, OH 43017Sanctuary of the Ohio Valley2932 S. Fifth Street, Ironton, OH 45638
The Sanctuary at Wilmington Place264 Wilmington Avenue, Dayton, OH 45420Samaritan Care Center and Villa806 E. Washington Street, Medina, OH 44256

Questions About a Potential Lawsuit Involving Sanctuary, AHF Ohio, Inc. or Another Facility? 

Michael Hill is a nationally recognized attorney who handles exclusively cases against long term care facilities. Michael and his firm, Michael Hill Trial Law, handle cases across the country. If you have any questions about cases involving Sanctuary, AHF Ohio, Inc., or any other nursing home, assisted living facility, or group home, you can contact Michael Hill Trial Law at, by sending an email to, or by calling (800) 659-2712.