Central Arkansas mother seeking answers after daughter dies at long-term care facility in Conway

Local News

CONWAY, Ark – A central Arkansas mother says she wants answers after her 14-year-old daughter died at a mental health facility in Conway. 

“I felt like I was dying. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. It’s hard,” Renee Hawkins said. 

Hawkins says her daughter Maya was admitted to Conway Human Development Center on November 1.

Five days later she said she received a call from the center saying her daughter was being taken to the hospital and was in critical condition. 

“The last words she said to me was ‘Momma I love you’ and she cried,” said Hawkins. 

The family says they still haven’t been able to get a concrete answer on what happened. 

“The first story was just that she was kind of walking around and then fell out, the second story she was horse playing and fell out and the third story she was given is that she was chasing one of the workers and fell out,” Maya’s cousin Autumn Sims said. 

DHS confirmed in an email a death occurred at the Conway Human Development Center last week.

In the email, Officer of Communications and Community Amy Webb wrote, “The resident collapsed, and immediate medical attention was given as a nurse was nearby and 911 was called immediately.”

The family says they believe it took longer to call 911. 

“It took 40 minutes,” Sims said. 

In last week’s press conference, Governor Hutchinson mentioned jobs at centers like this have high employee turnover. The Hawkins family believes that played a role in what happened to 14-year-old Maya. 

“They need someone that’s trained that can handle those situations and I understand that there’s a shortage in those areas but that doesn’t mean that they should get lax on those laws,” said Sims. 

The family says they know sharing their story won’t bring Maya back but hope that it could help save another life. 

“If you do this to mine how many more have you done this to,” Hawkins said. 

DHS says the Office of Long-Term Care is investigating Maya’s death as they do with all deaths at immediate care facilities. 

The Conway Human Development Center has not responded to requests for comment. 

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