Immigrant falls ill in local detention center

An immigrant that fell ill while in a local detention center is speaking out to shed light on the injustices immigrants face.

The recent death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in Border Patrol custody is raising questions about how authorities deal with sick immigrants.

A Valley resident that has lived in the US for 20 years tells CBS 4 of his recent experience with an illness as he spent a month at the Port Isabel Detention Center.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous due to his immigration status and future court appearances, says he was on the verge of dying while in the detention center.

“I was on the verge of death because my heart was beginning to stop,” he says.

He recalls when he got sick and was taken to the hospital a few weeks ago.

“When I got sick, I got sick with pneumonia, I was in a cell with more than a 100 people,” he explains.

According to his medical records, he was in severe sepsis shock and had pneumonia.

He says he asked the guard for help but he was told to wait until after the guard reported it. After being denied medical attention, he says he was taken to a psychologist.

“I was throwing up mucus with blood, I was very ill there,” he states.

Medical records show the guard was aware he was coughing up blood for three days and felt feverish for about a week.

He says he was denied a phone call to his partner, the guard telling him, “Once dead, they would bring me in a coffin, maybe my ashes or my family could come get my body.”

Not only was he suffering from pneumonia and his current conditions, but he is a cancer survivor.

He says when he was processed at the Port Isabel Detention Center they checked his health and didn’t find anything. It was then that he made them aware he was in remission.

According to medical experts, due to his past medical history he should have been treated right away when he was coughing up blood.

He shares his story now in order to shed light on the injustices immigrants like him have faced.

“There is a lot of injustices, with all the immigrants that come from other parts of the world. They abuse of people who just come to work and look for a better life.”

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