David’s Heart Part V.2 – By Michael Holmberg

Past and Current Failures

8. Mr. Daniel Johnson. In July of 2011 Mr. Johnson (Danny), while at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center (Stafford Creek), took several pills, placed a plastic bag over his head, laid back in his bunk and went to sleep, never to wake up. Suicide?

Danny suffered from paranoia and schizophrenia. But, with a proper medication regiment and additional programming, Danny was a productive citizen in his community.

At the Mc Neil Island Corrections Center (Mc Neil), Danny’s mental health provider helped him maintain balance. Danny’s medication regiment was designed to dial down the illness, while still allowing him to function in this context. Danny was assigned a work program as a porter, responsible for cleaning the corridor leading from Master a Control to the Boulevard. Danny also enjoyed fly tying, which was more than a mere hobby, it was an integral part of his mental health program, an exercise in focusing his mind, leaving a chaotic world behind.

Danny’s fly tying was so important to him that when the WDOC attempted to initiate a statewide ban, removing it from all WDOC facilities, Danny stood up, using the power of the Americans with Disability Act,(ADA) the assistance of his mental health provider, his family and myself. The result? Because of Danny’s efforts, he was allowed to continue fly tying at
 Mc Neil.

In addition to the accommodations mentioned above, Danny was housed in B Unit, which was  situated directly across from the Dinning Hall, Medical Unit and Hobby Shop. This location was important, because Danny, at times, felt uncomfortable in large crowds due to the buzz – the swirl of conversations most of us simply ignore. It was different for Danny; sometimes the buzz reminded him of the voices.

Danny had a wonderful, loving support team-his Mother, Father and his Sister. They always accepted his calls, regularly exchanged letters and his parents participated in the Extended Family Visitation program.

Danny only had a few years left on his sentence – he had plans for a future, he had hope, he had a loving, supporting family waiting to help him successfully transition back to society.
He longingly looked forward to the opportunity to put his handiwork to the test – to reel in the big one after it took one of his fles.

But, something happened – Stafford Creek. You see, shortly after transferring from Mc Neil to Stafford Creek, someone decided to alter his medication regimen – allowing the voices to return ; he was housed in H4 Living Unit, which was directly across from Medical and the Dinning Hall, as opposed to H1; he was denied a work program, and his fly tying accommodation was revoked.

The result? Danny stopped going to the Dining Hall. Instead he subsisted for months on food bought from Inmate Store with money he received from his parents-
yet no one noticed??!  He only left his cell to check the call-out sheet, to go to medical and shower – yet, no one noticed? And, after nearly a year of this . . . existence, when he could no longer endure the suffering, Danny fell asleep . . . How did this happen? Who was responsible for Danny’s care? Who was responsible for Danny’s death?

9. Mr. Jerry Stallings. In May 2009 Mr. Stallings, while at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center (Stafford Creek), was examined by a Dr. Lechner, an oncologist. Dr. Lechner found that Mr. Stallings had suffered severe complications from Hep-C, recommending immediate Hep-C treatment and a liver transplant. Based on Dr. Lechner’s recommendations, Mr. Stallings requested Hep-C treatment four times between December 2009 and September 2014. Yet, each request was denied, dispite Dr. Lechner’s expert recommendations.

During the above timeframe, Mr. Stallings filed two grievances addressing the denial of his requests for Hep-C treatment. (Grievance Nos. 1014206 and 10211584) 

Moreover, during the same time frame Mr. Stallings was hospitalized due to serious complications stemming from Kidney stones. He was also diagnosed with esophageal varaces – a complication of untreated Hep-C.

So, after five years of suffering with kidney stones and the adverse effects of advanced Hep-C: Cholelethiasis, Spleenomegaly, Portal Venous Hypertension and esophageal varaces, Mr. Stallings once again requested treatment.
 In October 2014 we documented the entire ordeal beginning from November 26, 2007 through September 4, 2014, sending a copy to the Stafford Creek Facility Medical Director,
Dr. Sara Smith.

Soon after receiving Mr. Stallings latest request for Hep-C treatment, Dr. Smith met with Mr. Stallings. During their meeting she exhibited concern about her medical license.
 Mr. Stallings assured Dr. Smith that all he wanted was treatment for Hep-C.

To her credit (?) Dr. Smith did recommend Mr. Stallings for a consult with experts from the University of Washington Medical Center. (UW) Eventually, Mr. Stallings was evaluated by UW experts, who recommended Hep-C treatment, but did not recommend a liver transplant.

Finally, in October 2016 Mr. Stallings received Hep-C treatment and is now cured! However, he is still in need of a liver transplant, despite the fact that Dr. Smith and a Mr. Weber were personally contacted by an individual willing to donate part of his liver to Mr. Stallings to help him fully recover from the devastating effects of Hep-C.

Why was Mr. Stallings made to suffer for five years, despite the recommendations of a medical expert? Why is he being denied a liver transplant?

Go to Part V.3

Michael Holmberg
DOC #741372

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