A nurse was charged Thursday in the death of the father of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser after authorities said she failed to give him a series of neurological exams following his fall at a Philadelphia senior care facility.
Christann Shyvin Gainey, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect and records tampering in the death of H.R. McMaster Sr.
The 84-year-old retired U.S. Army officer died April 13, about eight hours after suffering a fall and hitting his head at the Cathedral Village retirement community.
Surveillance video showed that Gainey, who worked as a contract nurse at Cathedral Village, failed to conduct a series of eight neurological evaluations of McMaster as required, prosecutors said. Gainey then allegedly falsified documents to make it seem she had.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Gainey has an attorney who could comment on her behalf. Phone numbers listed for her rang unanswered Thursday afternoon. Gainey’s employer, General Healthcare Resources of Plymouth Meeting, declined comment.
Cathedral Village “removed this nurse, who was not a Cathedral Village employee, from our community immediately following Mr. McMaster’s passing,” according to a statement from representatives late Thursday.
“We have been working closely with law enforcement since that time, and will continue to cooperate with the attorney general’s prosecution” of Gainey, it continued.
McMaster’s son, H.R. McMaster Jr., served as Trump’s national security adviser from February 2017 until he resigned in March.
“Our father … was a tough and compassionate soldier and public servant,” McMaster’s daughter, Letitia McMaster, said in a statement. “The best way to honor his memory is for all of us to do all we can to prevent others from suffering at the hands of those who lack compassion and abandon even the most basic standards of human decency. Today’s charges are an important step forward in that connection.”
McMaster was admitted to Cathedral Village on April 9 for rehabilitation following a stroke. Three days later, according to court documents, he was found on the floor of his room by a nursing assistant, who alerted Gainey, the charge nurse.
Cathedral Village policy mandates close neurological monitoring of patients who hit their heads, including assessments every 15 minutes for the first hour and every hour for the next three.
An assistant nursing director told police that after McMaster’s death, she asked Gainey whether the nurse had conducted the required evaluations of McMaster. Gainey replied she had and said, “They were fine,” according to a police affidavit.
When the supervisor noted the last entry on McMaster’s neurological chart indicated that an evaluation had been performed 20 minutes after his death, Gainey told her, “Well, I falsified that one,” the affidavit said.
Police reviewed about eight hours of surveillance video and concluded Gainey had failed to perform a single neurological exam.
A medical examiner ruled McMaster died of “blunt impact head trauma.”
“When a family selects a senior living facility, they do not expect their loved one to be found dead in the lobby of a place that was supposed to be caring for him,” Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Thursday. “This nurse ignored her job responsibilities, falsified paperwork, lied to her supervisors and neglected Mr. McMaster, who died.”