Diabetic Inmate Going Blind, Denied Health Care from Women's Prison

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22-year-old Taylor Gilmer says she is starting to lose her vision, yet medical staff at the Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in Fluvanna County, Virginia is denying her adequate treatment.

Gilmer has had Type 1 diabetes since at least the age of 7, but the prison is providing treatment for Type 2 diabetes, which does not work for her condition.

As a result, she claims that her feet are turning purple and her vision is declining. If left untreated, her diabetes may render her blind.

Along with providing the wrong medication, the prison is barring Gilmer from checking her blood-sugar levels, which is key in managing diabetes.

Said Gilmer’s mother Tina, “I'm really scared. She cries to me on the phone ... she says 'I'm losing my vision'. She's afraid she's going to lose her feet."

Tina also stated, "I'm hoping they are going to force them to take care of the inmates because it's not right what they are getting away with."

With four more years remaining in her sentence, Gilmore’s health may be seriously compromised if the prison doesn’t change its ways.

Fluvanna has a reputation for poor treatment of sick prisoners, spawning a class-action lawsuit involving Gilmer and 1,200 other inmates. According to the suit, the private company hired by the prison,  Armor Correctional Health Services, is trading proper care for greater profits.

One inmate reported being denied her medication based on cost, and one attorney cited multiple deaths linked to shoddy treatment.

And although the hospital just switched to a new health-care company, Corizon, the replacement has en equally terrible reputation. In one instance, Corizon staff reportedly turned away an ambulance, letting a prisoner die because they didn’t want to pay for emergency treatment.

Abigail Turner, an attorney from the legal team who filed the lawsuit, stated, "My fear is that they will get a lot worse. Those with chronic conditions will be untreated  ... and they might die. There have been enough deaths."

Sources: Think Progress, NewsPlex