For nearly a decade, a succession of inmates at one of the largest women’s prisons in Georgia has suffered agonizing deaths, some going days, weeks and even months before receiving treatment that might have saved or prolonged their lives, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found.
Evelyn Spear’s complaints that she couldn’t swallow were treated as indigestion for three months before it was determined that she had cancer. By then, it had spread from her lungs to her lymph nodes.
Peggy Bean, suffering from a loss of blood to her intestines, was vomiting feces before it was realized she needed emergency surgery. She didn’t survive the operation.
Paula Cooper, who had breast cancer, was returned to the prison population after a mastectomy even though the incision was bleeding. It was still bleeding when she died five months later.
Those deaths and others paint a bleak picture of the medical treatment for inmates at Pulaski State Prison in Hawkinsville. All were under the care of Dr. Yvon Nazaire, raising fresh questions about the state’s decision to hire him as the prison’s medical director despite a well-documented history of negligence and patient deaths in New York.
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