As a mom to five children and a dog, Heather L. Smith had a tough time caring for her aging parents.
Smith said she’d try to help them out at her mother’s house in rural North Carolina, but her family was struggling financially.
In the summer of 2015, she went to work at the local mall as a security guard.
“I was a mom first and foremost,” she said.
“And I had to do a lot of the heavy lifting.”
Smith’s husband, Jeff Smith, who works at a nearby gas station, was an avid outdoorsman and avid runner.
They’d go hiking and camp in the woods near their home, often at night.
But Smith says she never really wanted to go hiking.
Instead, she had to rely on her husband to walk her to and from work and the shopping center where they worked.
The couple had two children, ages 6 and 5.
But after losing her husband and her two daughters, Smith had no money to pay for her care, so she turned to social media.
She started a Facebook group for people who needed help paying for care for themselves and their families.
“People were dying, and I was not ready for it,” Smith said.
In May 2016, Smith started the Facebook page, Mom, to raise awareness about the health problems and health problems in nursing homes.
She has since raised more than $100,000 for care of those who have been living in nursing facilities.
She and her husband decided to help raise money for the hospital that was caring for Smith’s mother.
Smith was told that her mother was ill.
Her mother had cancer and died shortly after her arrival at the nursing home, but Smith was still struggling to come up with money to keep her alive.
“We felt that this is a very important issue that needs to be addressed,” she told CNN.
Smith started a GoFundMe page for the nursing facility where she worked.
On October 9, she set up a donation page to help pay for the care of her mother, but the campaign ran into trouble when it became clear that the hospital wouldn’t donate.
She said the hospital told her that the funds would go to another hospital.
In November, the hospital’s administrator contacted Smith and asked her to give it back to them, which she did.
She then told her mother that she had already donated $2,400 to help her, but she’d need to wait until the next day to receive it.
“She was so heartbroken and upset and I don’t know what I was thinking,” Smith recalled.
“The next day I got a call from the hospital saying they had not received the funds.
I told them I’d just send it to the next hospital.”
That’s when the account was suspended.
When Smith called the hospital to find out why, she was told the money would go directly to the hospital.
When she checked the funds on the account, she found they were gone.
Smith, a certified nursing assistant, then contacted her local nursing home board.
They told her she’d have to go through another payment cycle, and she was also told she would have to make another payment to the nursing homes that had already provided care to her mother.
“It was the saddest day of my life,” she remembered.
The next day, the board told her to go to a nursing home to pick up the money that was on her account.
Smith went to the facility and got help from a relative.
“My sister came in and gave me a box,” she recalled.
Then she and her sister went to another facility and asked for the money from the facility where her mother had been.
Smith asked the other nursing home for her mother and was told she had nothing.
Smith then tried to find a family member who could pay, but found no one willing to help.
Smith called her husband, who told her it was a difficult situation and that she could make a difference.
“This is what I have to do to help other families,” Smith told CNN affiliate WTVD in North Carolina.
“What do I have against someone who needs help?”
Smith then called the North Carolina state attorney general’s office.
She told him about her experience and asked that the state attorney General’s Office investigate the situation.
The North Carolina attorney general has now opened an investigation into the nursing care that Smith had.
“There is a real concern that the lack of resources may be a contributing factor to this,” the North Carolinians attorney general, Earl Blanco, said in a statement.
“That is why the North Caroline state Attorney General’s office has been working with the state board to determine the appropriate next steps.”
Blanco also said the nursing center where Smith was working should be made responsible for her family’s care.
“Our goal is to find the person responsible for providing care to Ms. Smith’s family, and that person should be held accountable,” Blanco said.
A North Carolina nursing home spokesman