“It feels like something is eating my brain.”
On Dec. 27, 2016, Hutchinson Correctional Facility inmate Marques Davis complained to Corizon Health employees that his symptoms were getting worse. Davis had made several trips to the infirmary because of weakness and a loss of sensation in his legs. After begging for help for four more months, the 27-year-old man had a heart attack on April 12. The next day, Davis was declared dead and taken off life support. He died and now his family wants Corizon held accountable.
The inmate had suffered a slow and grueling death. When doctors at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center performed a CT scan, they found “dramatic swelling of the brain sufficient to force the upper part of the brain into the lower part of the brain.” Davis endured blurred vision, slurred speech, and disorientation as a result of an advanced case of granulomatous meningoencephalitis. This form of meningitis is caused by Candida albicans fungus.
Corizon Staff Ignored Davis’ Complaints
Had he been diagnosed and treated, Davis could have survived. That’s why his mother is suing 14 of Corizon Health’s employees as well as the company itself which provides medical services to the Kansas Department of Corrections. Shermaine Walker said that money won’t bring her son back but Corizon is responsible. She advocated on her son’s behalf, but their pleas went largely unheard.
“This was an everyday thing for me, calling over there telling them about things he’s complaining to me about but also the things I’m seeing,” Walker said. “He’s losing weight tremendously, he’s sweating, his skin color is changing.”
Corizon health is criminal.I worked at a womens prison under them as a nurse and the treatment (or lack of it) to prisoners is sickening and one reason i left. And as a nurse ultimately i was voiceless.
According to the lawsuit, Corizon employees believed that Davis was pretending to be sick. Deemed a troublemaker with supposedly over 40 disciplinary issues during his stay at Hutchinson, Corizon staff blamed Davis for his medical issues stating in a report, “At this point he is not doing for himself the things he could do.”
The week before Davis died, he was refusing to eat and urinated in his water pitcher rather than struggle to get out of bed. Completely disoriented, he often mistook the urine in his pitcher for water and drank it.
Reports about how Corizon handled Davis’ care as well as the excessive numbers of lawsuits filed against the company across the country have caught the attention of Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley. Corizon rakes in $70 million a year from the Kansas contract alone. But because of the level of care provided, Hensley said that the Kansas Department of Corrections should sever ties with Corizon Health sooner than later.
“This sounds like a very serious situation to me,” Hensley said. “Obviously the state’s not named as a party (in the lawsuit) but should consider dropping this contractor at the earliest possible date.”
‘He Was A Human Being’
While Davis lived a troubled life, he still had the right to receive adequate healthcare while incarcerated. Walker said that her son should have been treated because it was the humane thing to do. He died senselessly leaving a 9-year-old daughter behind.
“It doesn’t matter why he ended up there,” Walker said. “He was a human being.”