Close up on the Fayette Health Justice Campaign
PPF-PA member Richard tells his story
In SCI Fayette prison and in the community of LaBelle, PA, a coal ash dump and coal slurry pond are causing a wide range of very serious health problems for many people. PPF-PF is working with these families as a part of the effort to address the health crisis at SCI Fayette and the surrounding community of La Belle, PA. Here is the story of why Richard is getting involved in the movement:
"My name is Richard, I’m from Philadelphia. I’m a father, husband and grandfather. I’ve worked since I was 14, I’ve been to college, made bad decisions, got myself arrested and sent to prison. After going through the intake process I was sent to SCI Fayette in February 2008. Upon arriving at SCI Fayette, I started having trouble breathing. My situation progressively got worse, I lost a lot of weight, I had trouble sleeping, my nose ran for 4 years. I went to medical maybe 50 times, in the infirmary maybe 10 times. I had no idea what kind of illness I was suffering from. I was told by administration that my illness was psychosomatic. I wrote some letters to my wife and children in case I died, cause I got real sick. I shared those with my cellmates to send to my family just in case.
I was sick basically my whole time in Fayette, and I had to file a lawsuit to try to get to an outside doctor, but to no avail. I wrote everyone in the chain of command all the way to Camphill four times a week. I didn’t get the proper medical attention until was I released and able to go to my family doctor. I still have different alignments that I’m suffering from that my doctor cannot explain that I’ve learned to live with.
It was a traumatic experience. I still have a lot of people there who I told I’ve never forget about them and their plight at that prison. I’m partnering with Put People First! PA to fight for better healthcare for the inmates in the prison system."
To support the Fayette Health Justice Campaign, sign the petition here asking Governor Wolf to order and execute an audit of the prison. Contact Sheila Quintana at email@example.com to learn more.