The daughter of a 43-year-old man who died Tuesday after falling from the window of his sixth-floor hospital room at Maine Medical Center believes her father was not suicidal, but was disoriented and trying to get home to his family.

“He wanted nothing more in the world than to come home with the family, but with the extent of his brain injuries he needed more hospital time and rehab before that could happen,” Miranda Cady wrote in a post Wednesday on a Gofundme page created to help with her father’s medical expenses. The page is now appealing for help with funeral costs.

Paul Cady of Hollis was hospitalized with brain injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident in early March. He had been using a breathing tube and at one point had been put in a medically induced coma, Miranda Cady wrote in the post.

“All he could focus on was getting home, and due to his state of mind he was willing to try anything to get out of that hospital. He was able to open his hospital window enough to get out,” she wrote.

The state Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services will investigate Cady’s death, said Samantha Edwards, an agency spokeswoman. She didn’t have details about the scope of the investigation.

Miranda Cady wrote in her post, “He was able to open his hospital window enough to get out. His room was on the sixth floor and he died immediately. I would just like to put that this was not an act of suicide but a desperate attempt to be home with the family.”

In Maine, newly constructed hospital facilities must meet the American Institute of Architects 2006 general guidelines for hospitals, which doesn’t require windows in patient rooms to be operable. However, if windows in patient rooms are able to be opened, “operation of such windows shall be restricted to inhibit possible escape or suicide,” the standards state.

At facilities such as Maine Medical Center, where old buildings are used side-by-side with new construction, those building standards apply only to older structures if renovations were performed after 2009 and the work costs more than $50,000.

The Richards Tower, where Cady fell, was built in 1969, and it was unclear when that section of the hospital was last updated.

“We are very limited in what we can say due to the ongoing investigation, and patient and family privacy/sensitivity,” Maine Med spokesman Clay Holtzman said in an email Wednesday night.

He confirmed that the sixth floor of the Richards building is a neurology intermediate care unit where patients recover from trauma and neurological procedures.

When asked for specific details about the window or windows in Cady’s room, Holtzman would say only that when Maine Medical Center was most recently accredited in 2014, one of the thousands of standards that was reviewed was the installation of stops on operable windows in patient care areas.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigates workplace accidents, was not alerted to the incident because it didn’t involve an employee, an OSHA spokesman said.

Carol Cronin, executive director of the Informed Patient Institute, a Maryland-based nonprofit that advocates for improved patient safety and transparency in health care, said hospitals are generally safe places, but that the institutions have had some issues with falls from beds and fires caused by flammable materials.

“You have to be vigilant every step of the way when you go to the hospital,” Cronin said. “Hospitals are complicated places, and places where there could be miscommunications among the staff, or straight-up errors in patient safety.”

Cronin hopes hospital and law enforcement officials will share their findings with the public when the investigation is complete.

Cady’s death was reported to police just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, and isn’t considered suspicious, police said.

Cady was not wearing a helmet at the time of the motorcycle crash that hospitalized him with brain injuries. He had been in a medically induced coma and was making strides toward recovery when he died, regaining the ability to stand, move around and speak.

The accident happened just before 7 p.m. on March 9 as Cady was riding his 2001 Harley Davidson northbound on Cape Road in Standish at the intersection of Dow Road. The other driver, Chandler McLean, 19, of Buxton, was headed southbound in a 2006 Subaru. McLean struck Cady after failing to yield while turning across the northbound lane onto Dow Road, according to an accident report by Deputy Ashley Hall of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Cady was involved in a fatal accident in Aug. 2, 2010, when he struck and killed a homeless pedestrian while driving a 1995 Toyota Camry on River Road in Windham. The pedestrian, 55-year-old Michael Charette, had staggered into the roadway and Cady had been unable to avoid striking him, Windham police Officer Ernest MacVane said in a report.

A photograph taken of Cady in the hospital after his motorcycle crash shows him seated in a hospital gown, his left eye still bruised, with his family surrounding him. Miranda Cady wrote on the Gofundme page that it was the last photo taken of her father.

Staff Writers Joe Lawlor and Scott Dolan contributed to this report.

 

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