Family, anguished by guardian Mary Rowan’s refusal to let them visit Nora Rodman, 84, who is dying, contacts VOD after reading Robinson story
“My mom died 7 years ago. My grandma is the last piece of her I have left. I just want me and my kids to spend the time she has left with her.”
“My grandma calls out our names all day.”
Update on Gayle Robinson case: Judge orders 6-month co-guardianship including Rowan Dec. 9
By Diane Bukowski
December 23, 2014
Wayne County, MI—After reading VOD’s story on guardian Mary Rowan’s abuse of her ward Gayle Robinson, a third family has contacted VOD about Mrs. Nora Rodman, 84, another ward of Rowan’s.
They say Rowan is barring Mrs. Rodman’s daughters, grand-children, and great-grandchildren from seeing her in hospitals and nursing homes. Ms. Rodman is likely dying.
“When my mom called Qualicare she was told that my grandma is not allowed to have any visitors,” a granddaughter of Mrs. Rodman’s told VOD. My grandma is in her last days with end stage CHF and renal failure. My grandma calls out our names all day and we do not understand how [Mary] Rowan can ban our family when it is clearly not in my grandma’s best interest.”
Rowan told one family member that she herself has not seen Mrs. Rodman, although guardians are required to visit every three months. She was appointed Aug. 4, 2014.
Mrs. Rodman had just been released from Providence Hospital after various other placements in nursing homes and hospitals, and is now at Qualicare on E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit.
Family members believe Rowan is causing her needless suffering through prolonged medical procedures.
Wayne County Probate Court Judge June E. Blackwell-Hatcher, the daughter of Robert Blackwell, appointed Rowan as guardian in Mrs. Rodman’s case Aug. 4, 2014.
Mrs. Rodman’s granddaughter Amanda Ulmen was in tears as she discussed Rowan’s refusal to let her see her grandmother in the hospital. Since Rowan is listed as guardian in hospital records, hospital personnel must abide by her decisions.
“My mom died seven years ago,” Ulmen said. “My grandmother is the last piece of her that I have left. I just want me and my kids to spend what time she has left with her. Two of my aunts went to see her yesterday and were refused time with her also. This is heart-breaking, sickening, and outrageous.”
Ulmen said Rowan had her grandmother placed in the Four Chaplains nursing home for several weeks beginning in August, and she and her children visited her there often, bringing flowers and cards. Mrs. Rodman was then sent to Garden City Hospital, and from there to St. Jude’s nursing home in Westland, which Ulmen said was in horrible condition. She was just in Providence Hospital with pneumonia and is “actively dying,” Ulmen said.
She said the hospital repeatedly called Rowan to get her permission to implant a stent, but could never reach her, so eventually two of her daughters signed for the procedure. A daughter said Mrs. Rodman was subjected to multiple colonoscopies at the earlier locations, even though she had colorectal cancer earlier. She had to receive four pints of blood at Providence to counteract the effects of the colonoscopies.
She said her mother is listed as “full code,” meaning all resuscitation efforts must be made regardless of the will of either her mother or family members.
“My four kids are also not allowed to see their grandmother,” a daughter said. She asked not to be identified because Rowan retaliates against any challenges to her, using denial of hospital visits as one option.
“Rowan keeps putting her through every test and surgery that she can,” the daughter said. “My mother needs hospice. The head nurse at Providence agreed that it is time to let her go. But Rowan has threatened to move my mother to the other side of the state and ban all her children from seeing her if we don’t play her game.”
She said that Rowan has abused and humiliated both family members and hospital staff, even hanging up on them, when they have called her, even they are even able to get through to her. She added that many medical staff members have told her that Rowan is the guardian for numerous patients at their institutions.
“She is punishing my mother for us girls,” she said. “I told her ‘I want to bring my mother home,’ and she told me, ‘that’s never going to happen.’” Rowan, Guardian Ad Litem Sean Heck, and Judge Blackwell-Hatcher had not responded to messages from VOD for comment on this case before press time.
“My family has had similar dealings with Mary Rowan,” Mrs. Rodman’s niece commented on-line after reading the Robinson story. “She is very curt and condescending. She does not display one ounce of compassion toward her clients or families. I do not know how she has gotten away with this treatment. She is very intimidating and threatening. I feel sorry for any family that has to tolerate this so called lady. Mrs. Rowan has NO business being a court appointed guardian.”
Hearing held on Gayle Robinson case Dec. 9; Rowan remains co-guardian for 6 months
Detroit — Meanwhile, Gayle Robinson’s son Randy Robinson said he and his sister Deborah Fox were put through a grueling and lengthy mediation session at Wayne County Probate Court Dec. 9, made all the worse when their mother was told to leave.
“My mother got upset because everybody was yelling,” Robinson told VOD. His mother’s own attorney Sean O’Connor did not want her back in the mediation, although Mrs. Robinson appeared to be perfectly capable of expressing her desires. During the hearing, she clearly stated to Judge Keith that she does not want the daughter and husband who initiated the probate court proceedings, OR their children, to visit her. She said that before that couple visits, they must pay back money they stole from her.
Mrs. Robinson, now 84, was sitting outside the courtroom when VOD arrived.
“It looks like when you get old, you don’t have the right to take your own money out of the bank anymore,” Mrs. Robinson told VOD. “I don’t need a guardian, but I want my brother to be my conservator and I want my son Randy and his daughter Lynette to stay with me.”
She was very lucid and personable as she chatted. She said regarding Mary Rowan and her assistant Katie McDonald, “Those two are against me.” The pair had police kidnap her from her own home without a court order, and confined in the psychiatric ward at Botsford Hospital for eight days Oct. 1. She told VOD the police who removed her tied her up in transit, and that she had a heart attack in the hospital.
Below is part of her admission record, which questions the validity of the “court order” Rowan’s assistant Katie McDonald and Westland Police Sgt. Randall Thivierge produced when they took her to Botsford after she, her son and her daughter refused to have her go. She had already been thoroughly examined at Henry Ford Hospital, they said.
Robinson said she was especially frightened at Botsford during what sounded like an MMRI exam. It involves putting the patient through a coffin-like tubular device. She said that she has a pacemaker and thought the test might affect it.
She added, “Mary and Ricky owe me all the money. Why should they take all of my husband’s insurance and it belongs to me? None of them have the right to kick Randy out.”
At a previous court hearing, several of Randy’s siblings insisted that he must be evicted from his mother’s home, but Judge Keith did not uphold that wish during the Dec. 9 hearing.
Judge Keith agreed to bar visits from that couple pending their adhering to a regular payment schedule of the equity loan they took out on Mrs. Robinson’s home, allegedly without her consent.
Despite Rowan’s request for sole guardianship, Judge Keith appointed Rowan and Mrs. Robinson’s brother James Brown as co-guardians on the case for the next six months, after which Brown will take over both guardian and executor duties.
Judge Keith assigned the job of working out visitation with Mrs. Robinson’s children to her brother, but Rowan remained active during the hearing.
To prove that her mother is not “legally incapacitated” as she is listed in court records, Deborah Fox showed VOD numerous photo cards of her mother, who is a veteran and the widow of a veteran, attending functions including the Women Veterans’ Stand-Down at the Taylor VFW hall, fund-raising in Garden City for the Goodfellows, and visiting with Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.
Mary Rowan lives in and runs her office at 1303 Nottingham, Grosse Pointe Park. Court records show the property is in her name and that of her husband, John Cavataio. According to state records, he runs a specialty contractor business called John T. Cavataio, Inc., which handles new construction basement finishing.
It is unclear why Rowan is being assigned as guardian in so many Probate Court cases. In the earlier case of Lennette and Mailauni Williams, she testified the “court administrator’s office” selected her. Wayne County Probate Court Chief Judge Milton Mack, Jr. is in charge of the court, and runs it with a tight rein, according to reliable sources.