NOVEMBER 1, 2011
VIRGINIA WOMAN'S KIDNEY AILMENTS AND BRAIN ANEURYSM IGNORED BY STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS
Woman in psychiatric hospital now suffers a brain aneurysm, is left untreated and neglected, to face death
A Virginia woman was locked in irons and chains in August, and driven by state police to Western State Hospital, even though she is accused of no crime. A judge ruled then that Alison Hymes may be committed to the state hospital, citing a lack of insight regarding the amount of water she was drinking.
Doctors placed severe restrictions on her food and water and are treating her kidney disorder as a psychiatric condition.
Alison had a kidney transplant three years ago, after lithium toxicity caused renal failure. Psychiatrists refused to treat her kidney problems, and compounded the issue by prescribing Trilafon, a drug that has clear warnings about dangers to renal function. As a result, she has been having difficulty swallowing and has become physically weak.
A friend and advocate had a chilling prediction that may now prove to be true. "At best, Alison won't receive any real medical care for her kidney problems," said Tina, a friend of Alison's and psychiatric advocate in New York said in August. "At worst, I know there is a very real probability that this confinement and lack of medical care will kill her."
NOW it is even more urgent. A brain aneurysm has been discovered, and Alison still sits in a psychiatric ward. Her brain aneurysm could well be causing all of her psychiatric symptoms. If the aneurysm bursts, Hymes will suffer a stroke, and ALL of the psychiatric medications Alison is being given, cause an INCREASED RISK OF STROKE. Yet, Alison has been told that her brain aneurysm will not be treated. This is now a matter of life and death, for a woman with disability, perpetuated and caused by an institution that poses to help.
Her case highlights the failure of the Virginia medical system by continuing to ignore legitimate health problems and trying to mask them with psychiatric drugs that worsen her health and hasten her death.
(My note. Alison is a friend of mine, someone who helped me with my own issues of lithium toxicity and subsequent renal failure. She's an accomplished activist, and blogger. She's not a faceless, human being out there in cyberspace. She is someone I am happy to know, and call her my friend. No one deserves what is happening to her. No one. Please help.
Numbers to call:
Information is also at Gianna Kali's blog today as well.
- -Call the Western State Hospital Administrator, Dr. Jack Barber, at 540-332-8000. That is the switchboard for Western State.
- -Ask for Jack Barber’s office. Leave a message with his secretary if he is not available.
- -Demand to know why Alison’s very real medical brain disease (the aneurysm) is not being dealt with. Tell him we are watching, and we won’t stand for this.
IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS or QUESTIONS, please contact Adinah Caro-Greene at 510.495.7608. She is coordinating this campaign.