All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Another sad tale of life's final hours behind bars

This is the story of a prisoner who experienced a taste of hell on earth. And it didn’t have to happen that way.

We never got to meet Terry.

The first we heard about her, and her plight, was late last year. The mother of her special friend contacted us, saying the 69-year-old woman was suffering from cancer. She had had at least two surgical procedures. The reason for the call to HFP was the shameful treatment Terry was receiving. A corrections officer was not only abusive and demeaning, but had also refused to undo her shackles and allow her to go to the bathroom.

We heard nothing further until a few days ago.

Terry is in a lot of pain because they ran out of morphine. The family can’t find out anything.”

Then her brother reached out to us.

I believe she is gravely ill, maybe terminal (not sure). As I am Terry’s Patient Advocate, I'm wondering why no one from the prison is keeping in touch with me regarding her condition. Do you know what the prison's responsibility is in regard to prisoners in her condition?

The next day.

An officer let an inmate see Terry today. Terry is in a lot of pain and wants to die. Don't know the exact facts but heard they ran out of morphine to alleviate her pain. How inhumane. The inmate who saw Terry called Terry's brother with this extremely disturbing news.

The next day.

As we were talking to our daughter tonight someone came to tell her that Terry had passed away. Another inmate did get to see her today thanks to some compassionate officers and she had a morphine drip and was a little more comfortable but still wanted to die. So I'm thinking that none of her family got to visit her. That is so sad. It's so comforting to know that HFP is there ready to jump on this case. Thank you ever so much for caring.

It grieves me to report that we did nothing. Breathed a prayer for her. That was it. We were tripping over ourselves trying to get better care, but sadly, it was too little too late.  

Thank God there’s no more cruelty, no more pain, no more suffering for Terry.

There’ll be another unfortunate prisoner in line for similar experiences tomorrow. We’ll be here. We’ll try harder.

1 comment:

Mary Kay Heaven said...

I'm crying for the first time for Terry reading your blog. Crying for her but also crying because of your humanity, loving and caring for people you've never even met. I just talked to Terry's sister in-law and she said that Terry actually had a better life in prison than before because in prison she was loved, appreciated and cared for by her fellow inmates. That is until the states medical care let her suffer. I'd forgotten about Terry's prior treatment by prison officers. However this past week some officers did show compassion by letting some of her friends visit her. They were not supposed to allow that.