According to a report in Daily Mail, O.J. Simpson is unable to walk without a cane and fears he will leave prison in a wheelchair if he isn’t allowed to get the surgery needed to fix his knee.
A prison insider told the newspaper that Simpson had been seen walking around the grounds of Nevada’s Lovelock Correctional Center with a cane, telling fellow inmates he was furious with prison officials because they wouldn’t allow him the proper care he needed to fix his deteriorating knee.
“I can only get mediocre health care in here,” Simpson reportedly told an inmate. “And it really pisses me off because I have the money to go to any specialist in the world to get knee surgery but they won't let me leave to get help. They don't give a damn that I am going to end up crippled and can't walk for the rest of my life.”
The source revealed that Simpson’s knee problems have started to affect other aspects of his well-being, saying that unhealthy diet combined with the inability to exercise due to the knee problems have caused him to balloon to 340 pounds.
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“When there was nice weather O.J. used to walk around the track on the prison yard for an hour at a time but now the pain in his knee is so severe he can barely walk 10 steps without moaning in pain. O.J.'s weight is definitely a factor and putting more stress on his knees but he also has advanced arthritis,” the source said. The former NFL star’s knee problems are allegedly a direct result of his football career.
Simpson told inmates, according to the insider, that he is prepared to pay for the surgery he needs but staff will not allow him to leave the confines of the prison to get proper treatment.
“I won't be out of here for at least another two years and if they won't let me get to a specialist soon I may never walk again!” Simpson reportedly said as he slammed his fists on the table. “I have the money to pay for any surgery I need and the transportation so it won't be on the freakin' tax payers but they are still saying 'No.'”
Despite Simpson’s frustration with the prison’s policy, the source said rejection is common for those who have injuries or illnesses that are not life-threatening.
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“Most of the time if a patient gets a recommendation from a doctor to have surgery but it is not life-threatening, the prison will deny that request. O.J. said they just gave him a pill and told him to take it easy. He has talked to his attorneys about going to court so he can get some outside medical help but by the time the courts decide he may be already on parole,” the source told the Daily Mail.
“O.J. is in bad shape and it's only going to get worse. The pain is excruciating and his knee is so deformed that he cant even straighten his left leg anymore. O.J. is so worried about being seen in a wheelchair that he said he is not going to tell anyone, not even his family, when he's leaving Lovelock. O.J. said when he gets parole he will leave in the middle of the night so he can disappear and there will not be any pictures of an old man a wheelchair on the cover of every newspaper across this country with the caption, 'The Juice — Old and Broken!'”