Family claims prison left tooth untreated leading to their son's death
Mon, 23 Dec 2013 06:34:21 GMT —
A prison inmate was left confined to his prison cell with an untreated infection, which lead up to his death, his family believes.
Celestina Perez has dealt with the loss of her two sons, one to leukemia and another choked on his own vomit, after months beings hospitalized.
Perez believes the death of her 21-year-old son Jason Garcia, who choked in prison, could have been avoided.
Jason Garcia spent the last three years of his life in prison at the Telford Unit in New Boston, Texas.
Garcia was in possession of marijuana and burglarized a building in Hidalgo County, which landed him behind bars in New Boston. With just a few years left of his sentence, he was not able to walk out as a free man.
On September 2012, a toothache lead to Garcia getting his wisdom teeth removed.
After the surgery, the pain became more severe than the initial toothache.
He complained to prison guards about the pain, but the infection was allegedly left untreated.
Garcia suffered from a defect of the ventricular septal, a heart condition that forced him to take antibiotics, according to his mother.
Perez said she informed the jail about his need for medication, and she said she found out they were not providing him with the antibiotics he needs.
In February, Jason finally collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Perez recalled him saying, "You know what mom? All of a sudden I got up to get my tray and I fell, and I opened my eyes and I am already in the ICU." Jason was sent to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana.
Doctors were puzzled by his condition.
He was tested for HIV, cancer and diabetes.
All the tests came back negative.
Doctors could not diagnose him, so they transferred him to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston.
UTMB was not able to find the cause of Jason's illness, according to his mom.
On July 2, 2013, he was transferred to the Regional Medical Facility at the Estelle Unit in Huntsville.
According to Perez, a captain in the hospital did not let her and her husband see their son.
"He said you just have to go back because you won TMt be able to see him no more," Garcia's mother said. "They didn TMt give any explanation. Just that we cannot see him."
The next time Jason's parents were able to visit him was in Huntsville, where they received news he was in a coma and brain dead.
However, it was not until they were visiting him at the hospital when they found out what lead up to Garcia's coma.
"According to one doctor they left him for about 15 minutes. They just checked on him, but during those 15 minutes he vomited and aspirated to the lungs," Perez said. "He choked and passed away."
In August of this year, Garcia was pronounced dead.
His parents believe he may have chocked, but they want to know how a toothache landed him in three hospitals with no diagnosis.
Perez believes the lack of treatment in prison led to her son's deteriorating health.
I want justice for my son because if they did this to him, what might other prisoners be going through?" Celestina said.
Jason's parents want answers to try and close this chapter in their lives.
Autopsy results are expected to be released to the family next week.
Right now, Perez and her husband are considering filing a lawsuit against the prison, but are still searching for a lawyer.