( a letter passed to us—names of medical personnel deleted for this post. We have no way of verifying, but this woman has a right to her opinion.)
“Letter From A Dead Woman”
My name was Debra R, but Perryville saw me as a number. I died on Jan. 11, 2020, while in Lumley unit. I was incarcerated for shoplifting and received a 2-year sentence. Little did I know I had signed my death warrant.
The journey to my death bed began Thursday, Jan. 9th. At about 7:30 pm I experienced a sharp pain on the right side of my abdomen, and it was immediate. Shortly after that I had my first seizure and hit the back of my head on the cement. A guard witnessed this and called a medical emergency.
Nurse F. checked my vitals and my bp was 60/33, at which time I had another seizure. This “nurse” sent me back to the yard with diagnosis—U.T.I. On the way back I lost bladder and bowel control with my third seizure on Lumley’s main yard. I was escorted back to C yard cold, soiled, humiliated, and very tired. I have never had epilepsy, although I was taking meds for hypertension, so the low bp was unusual.
That night in my cell I couldn’t’ sleep because of the constant pain. At 9 am Friday I was shuttled to medical again for a bp check. While there I informed the nurse that I had vomited and could not even keep water down. This went on deaf ears and I was sent back to the yard. I received more care from my fellow inmates than medical, as they gave me crackers and broth to rehydrate me. All I did was moan and try to rest.
Saturday morning I felt much worse. My roommate told me I was cold and clammy to the touch and urged me to go back to medical. This time the two nurses told me I was “faking and only wanted pain pills” (this is on camera) and they threatened me with a ticket. I think this is when I gave up my fight for life.
I realized these people didn’t care and I was subhuman to them. As they half-carried me back I collapsed on the stairs because my legs just gave out. That’s when I told my friends I just wanted to die to stop the pain. Unfortunately, I experienced another seizure and was thrown in a wheelchair for my last trip to medical. I sat in the cold for 45 minutes and during that time a kindly clergy prayed for me, however, this was interrupted by the nurse who said “who are you to make me wait?!”.
Of course, I was sent back to the yard without treatment. I was delirious with pain, in and out of consciousness, but I remember my friends told me they had gotten a hold of my dad (with no help from the DOC). The last light in my eyes shone with gratitude as they told me he loved me very much. In my cold pain, I felt a little peace and warmth. In my dimming world, I recognized I was vomiting again. At about 2:50 pm an inmate checked on me and I was unresponsive and barely breathing. The guards were summoned and they called medical. Before nurses could respond, a COII risked his job and called 911, I was in cardiac arrest. Lumley’s heart portables were not charged, so they wasted precious time going to storage to retrieve one. At 3:15 medical finally brought oxygen. 3:25 the ambulance and fire went through the gate.
I left prison on a red bodyboard, red foam coming out of my mouth. As a peaceful warmth enveloped me, my last earthly thought was “I hope I can forgive the people that murdered me.”