An 89 year old war veteran has died in hospital of a broken neck and breathing issues after being king hit by a fellow care resident of Macquarie View aged care facility at Bolton Point, Lake Macquarie, NSW.

At about 7pm, Robert Driver was in his walker, when another resident living with dementia allegedly hit him from behind in a surprise attack. The blow knocked him to the ground, and despite his injuries, Mr Driver was not taken to hospital, instead being put to bed by facility staff. 

“That evening my father was hit from behind by another client of the dementia ward in a totally unprovoked and surprise attack,” said daughter Julie-Anne Jones. 

Robert Driver, a granddad, war veteran, former lieutenant and RAAF serviceman, was eventually taken to hospital the following day when he was discovered to be experiencing difficulty breathing and suffering with a stiff neck. 

Upon being admitted to John Hunter Hospital, he was found to have suffered a broken neck. According to hospital staff, the break was at a critical juncture of the cervical cord which was affecting his ability to breathe. Due to his injuries, the hospital told his family they did not expect Mr Driver to survive. 

He was then taken back to the care facility, where he died on August 25th, five days after the attack. According to the post-mortem, Mr Driver died of the cervical spinal injury. NSW Police are now investigating the death. 

According to Mrs Jones, the man who allegedly attacked Mr Driver was known as being aggressive, and had recently been transferred to Macquarie View aged care from another facility. 

“Why was my father put to bed and not taken directly to hospital? Everyone knows if you have a concussion you do not lay down,” Mrs Jones said. 

“We want accountability for this incident. This was totally preventable.”

According to Bolton Clarke chief operating officer David Swain, the facilities management are working with the NSW Police and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission following this attack. 

“Both were residents of our special care dementia unit which provides care for residents with higher needs.

“The resident was monitored closely and in consultation with the hospital was transferred for treatment when symptoms increased … We are deeply saddened at these events and our thoughts are with the family,” he said.

“The male resident who exhibited aggressive behaviour was also taken to hospital for further assessment and has been permanently transferred to a different specialist centre for ongoing care.”

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