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DAVID JACOBS:  “THEY JUST BLEW IT OFF AND IGNORED IT”

by Sharon Rondeau

An intensive care unit is for "critically ill" patients suffering from possible organ failure, breathing problems, and cardiac arrhythmias

(Nov. 14, 2010) — Since his incarceration on October 27, 2010, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III and another former inmate of the Monroe County detention facility have been reporting on the conditions there, including black mold, overcrowding, people sleeping on the floor, temperature of 60 degrees or below, and inmates failing to receive necessary medications and medical care.

A deputy who said he works in “booking” denied Fitzpatrick’s and others’ reports and hung up on us rudely last week.

One of Fitzpatrick’s reports regarded a Mr. David Jacobs who was allegedly taken to the Sweetwater Hospital after having been seriously ill in the jail and denied necessary medications and medical attention.  Mr. Jacobs contacted The Post & Email on November 13, 2010 from the Loudon County jail, where he is presently being held.

MRS. RONDEAU: Hello, Mr. Jacobs, how are you?

MR. JACOBS: My health isn’t great or anything, but after being at Monroe County jail, I don’t reckon anybody’s health would be too good.

MRS. RONDEAU: We may have only 15 minutes, but please tell me as much as you can about your experience at the Monroe County jail.

MR. JACOBS: The Monroe County jail, I’d want to call it some kind of concentration camp or somethin’ like that.  The place is nasty; if you get a shower, you’re lucky; they have a toilet that has to be flushed from the outside and you have to stay on the floor and holler to get ’em to flush it.  It’s a bad, inhumane place to be.

MRS. RONDEAU: There was a specific incident I was told about which alleged that after you were very ill for a time in the jail you were taken to the Sweetwater Hospital on an emergency basis.  Is this true?

MR. JACOBS: Yes, I was in ICU for about four days, when they were checkin’ my heart and for kidney stones and stuff like that.  I was pretty ill and real weak and couldn’t hardly walk or stand up.  Yes, I was down there from a Saturday mornin’ till the following Wednesday afternoon.

MRS. RONDEAU: Had you needed attention before that and not received it, or did your illness come on suddenly?

MR. JACOBS: No, I needed attention.  I filled out I don’t know how many nurse requests.  I told ’em I had bad chest pains and everything, was hurtin’, kept seeing blood in my urine.  They just blew it off, ya know, and ignored it.

MRS. RONDEAU: How long had you been that ill?

MR. JACOBS: I was in there for about two and a half weeks before I got any medical attention.

Automated OperatorYou have two minutes left.

MRS. RONDEAU: I thought we had fifteen minutes, but apparently not.  What happened after your four days in the hospital?

MR. JACOBS: They had to flush the toilets from the outside and everything, and I had to bed down right next to the toilet.  That’s what I went back to, and then later on, I think it was on a Friday afternoon, they put me over to the annex and then I bonded out on a Friday evening.  And that’s when the judge…

Automated Operator: You have 60 seconds.

MRS. RONDEAU: Are you guilty of doing anything?  Why are you in jail?

MR. JACOBS: I would say it’s my medication.  This is the fourth DUI I’ve got on account of my medication, and  (inaudible) could have been pulled over (inaudible) drive at night, and every time you tell’ em that you got artificial hips and explain to ’em…(inaudible)

Automated Operator: You have 30 seconds.

MR. JACOBS: …they automatically arrest you for DUI.

MRS. RONDEAU: Are you guilty of DUI?

MR. JACOBS: No.

MRS. RONDEAU: What are your chances of having a trial and getting out of jail?

MR. JACOBS: The thing of it is, I won’t be able to come up with an amount to get a good lawyer.  Before I get out, I’m going to need to do that.

MRS. RONDEAU: I gave a name to some people you know.

At this point, the time was up and the line went dead.  The total time elapsed was five minutes.  The Post & Email has learned that Mr. Jacobs was hospitalized in late September rather than November 4, as was previously understood and reported.  That would explain why, when we contacted Sweetwater Hospital, the Medical Records Department provided a “last date of service” as September 29, 2010.  He was therefore ill in September at the Monroe County jail, taken to Sweetwater Hospital on September 29, treated and then returned to the same conditions as before.

We have also learned that Mr. Jacobs was transported to the Loudon County jail on November 4.

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