Health Horror Stories"These stories of health abuse are not independently verified by the editors of this website. However, all of the women have agreed to a HIPPA release to any qualified attorney willing to take their case, or to an investigative reporter from the media."
Below is a link to the article published by Lauren Castle in the Arizona Republic on October 16 detailing the orders from a federal judge regarding the DOC failure to comply with the settlement involving healthcare for people in state prisons. It’s been 5 years and still, the Arizona DOC is refusing to comply and people are still dying unnecessarily. Read the full article here:
Dateline Santa Maria: This is L.B.’s story, corroborated by her daughter.
“I am a 50-year-old woman with a history of hypertension. In the last 2 years at Santa Maria, I have struggled with Medical to get my blood pressure under control. My everyday range, with medication, is 188-195 over 92-114.
In 2014 I had a full hysterectomy which exacerbated my blood pressure because of lack of estrogen. I was prescribed estrogen following surgery. Recently, I was running out and was unable to get more, even though the Rx showed approved refills. The computer system would not renew it. [See story about the outdated computer system here.]
While I was waiting for the computer to release my estrogen Rx, the provider substituted clonidine, an anti-hypertensive used to curb hot flashes. This drug has a “rebound” effect and stopping it increases blood pressure.
After 4 days without proper meds, I felt my cheeks turn numb, and my chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it. I was at work in the education room when I rose to get help. My daughter saw me clutch my chest and left arm as I collapsed on the floor.
When I woke up I was hooked up to a machine and oxygen was being administered. I recall a nurse on the phone telling someone “Yes, she is in tachycardia, and her oxygen level is 60.” When the provider saw that, he cranked up the O2 machine to max. At some point, I remember throwing up.
Mr. R (the provider) looked at my EKG tape and concluded I was NOT having a heart attack. He told me this episode was probably just stress and anxiety, combined with being without estrogen. I was prescribed an anti-nausea pill and 3-days bed rest.
In the seven days after this event, medical never once followed up to take my blood pressure. Another week went by, still with no blood pressure monitoring. I confronted Mr. R on his way home on a Friday and he told me that he’d left instructions for B/P reading and to go tell the nurse to take my reading throughout the weekend. Not only was my B/P dangerously high, but my resting heart rate was in the 112-137 range.
When I finally saw Mr. R again, we reviewed the EKG tapes from August 27 and noticed that the tape had “LV5 error – normal” printed on it. So he had me tested again, even though I felt no symptoms. The EKG spit out another LV5 error. Mr.R googled it and learned that it indicates “connections or leads damaged or broken.”
He yelled for Nurse F, who actually laughed and said, “Oh, that old thing doesn’t work. It’s busted. The new EKG machine is still in the box.” The staff had no idea they had been using a broken machine.
I have 5 more years before my release date, but I think they will kill me before then.”
Dateline Lumley: A 62-year-old woman wrote, “I fell down the stairs and my leg really, really hurt. Because I have a high tolerance for pain I thought it was just bruised. I refused initial treatment because I couldn’t afford the $4.00 to see medical.
The pain got worse instead of better. I finally had to ask the yard officers to take me to medical. They informed me that I was “faking it.” I submitted an emergency HNR and was taken to X-ray. The moment the X-ray was developed that called 911 because my femur was broken in two places.
In the good old...read more
So, you think you have a long wait at the doctor's...read more
I.P.C. (Inmate Patient Care) is the 18-bed infirmary located on Lumley unit. This is how a 65 year-old stroke victim described her 2-week stay there. "I had a stroke in March 2019. When you come to I.P.C. from the hospital, the guards don't let you have any of your...read more
I sustained infective endocarditis from dental work done at Perryville because they refused pre-treatment antibiotics. knowing that I have heart valve problems. This caused damage to my aortic root. Aortic root surgery is very grave and risky. The Mayo Clinic only...read more
For 2 years, 53-year old T.H. tried to tell Santa Cruz medical that she has a severe heart problem. Medical said "Prove it." and she said, "Ask for my records, or do an echocardiogram that does prove it." Instead, they gave her a major ticket for refusing to work in...read more
Three of our younger women on one yard have green fluid exuding from their breast/nipple. All medical does is prescribe and antibiotic withour testing to find the root cause. The other yards at Santa Cruz are reporting the same problem. Why is this so prevalent in...read more
For 3 months I've had a lump in my breast with a greenish discharge from the nipple. Corizon (Medical) won't get a biopsy for it because "it's too expensive and it's probably a cyst anyway." How large will it have to be before I'm seen by a real M.D? Update: After...read more
I am the product of cancer three-times over (in prison.) Being a non-recipient of adequate care, as well as normal human decency, from all involved, including medical professionals. So, in all reality, I was given a life sentence of over and over. I am only 65 years...read more
Death isn't just for the old, they kill the young too, P. was a 20-year-old vibrant young woman when she arrived at the prison. After a few months, she grew more fatigued and tired. For 5 months she begged Medical to take lab tests to find out what was wrong with her....read more
I was K.T.s neighbor. We'd lived next door to each other for two years amd became friends. K.T. was 62 years old, walked with a cane, but was otherwise healthy. We first thought she had come down with the flu, but her coughing and respiratory distress lingered for...read more
"I have scaly skin lesions on my face for over a year, and could not talk my "provider" into a dermatology referral. As luck would have it, a real MD walked by as I was in my wheelchair and I asked him to tale a look at my face. He said it looks like cancer, I'll...read more
I went to the hospital for heart failure. Just before I was discharged, I had to go to the bathroom. I'm 72 years old, and they had me shackled with a belly chain, hand cuffs, and feet cuffed. When the female guard started to help me up, she let go too soon and I...read more