Living and Dying on Florida’s Death Row, Part 2

EDITOR’S NOTE: Previously, I posted an update from Florida death row inmate William Van Poyck, in which he detailed the abysmal treatment of an inmate, Tom Wyatt, who was in need of medical attention. Mr. Van Poyck has included an update on Mr. Wyatt in his latest blog post, and I’m reposting it here. As with the first post, I cannot comment on the accuracy of what Poyck details here, and there are few who can besides those who live or work on Florida’s death row. However, I thought it was worth reposting, as it parallels many accounts I’ve come across of the living conditions on death row in Florida. As before, I have not changed any of the original post, other than to break it up into smaller paragraphs for easier reading.

From Mr. Van Poyck’s blog:

Here’s an update on my friend Tom. When I last wrote he’d been taken away in an ambulance on the night of Sept. 11th after spending 14 or 15 post-seizure days futilely trying to convince the medical staff here that he was dying.

Well, within hours of arriving at Shands Hospital in Gainesville surgeons performed emergency brain surgery and removed a golf ball-sized tumor which proved to be cancerous. An MRI also revealed a “large mass” in his chest which was also determined to be cancerous. Just 18 hours after his brain surgery prison officials (over the surgeon’s objections) removed Tom from the hospital and returned him here to his cell.

I stuck my mirror out, upon hearing the door roll, and saw Tom, a big bandage on his head, tottering slowly and unsteadily down the tier to his cell. That was on the 13th. For the next 5 days he laid on his bunk, often moaning, while receiving no medication at all (despite the surgeons having prescribed many drugs).

Finally, after 5 days he began getting some, but not all, of the prescribed meds (no pain meds, of course). Importantly, he did not get the most crucial one, the one to stop his brain from swelling. So he was suffering mightily until just 5 or 6 days ago when he finally saw a free-world oncologist who was shocked that he was not getting the brain swelling medication.

After another 3 days he finally began getting that one and he told me the relief was immediate. I knew it was bad when he kept telling me he had fluid coming out of his ears. He’s been told he’ll get chemo and radiation treatment but that remains to be seen.  If the prison has their way he’ll get nothing. (It kills me to read or hear about citizens crying about all the “great, free medical care” prisoners get. They are so clueless about what really goes on in prisons and about the criminally negligent medical personnel who commonly work in jails and prisons, many of whom have been barred from treating free-world patients, but who get to work in prisons under special laws that permit such).

The only reason Tom is alive is because he managed to get to a real hospital, out of the grasp of FSP’s quacks…

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One thought on “Living and Dying on Florida’s Death Row, Part 2

  1. I deeply resent my Florida and federal tax dollars funding cruel and unusual punishment on an ongoing basis over my years of objections to the appropriate agencies that my dollars be spend only on lawful pursuits.

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