In July 2008, Joshua Gartland, 33, moved back into his mother’s Westmoreland County home. He had run away at age 15, started using drugs a year later and struggled with addiction from then on. As a result, he had many medical problems, and in 2007 one of his legs had to be amputated because of necrotizing fasciitis — a flesh-eating bacterial infection — and he required dialysis for kidney failure.
His mother, Laura O’Rourke, then-59, of North Huntingdon, agreed to allow him to move back into her home and become his paid caregiver as part of an arrangement through Three Rivers Center for Independent Living.
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