What is Grenda Ray Harmer’s Medical Condition?


by Sharon Rondeau

TDOC Communications Director Neysa E. Taylor

(Aug. 15, 2018) — On Tuesday, this writer received an email from a well-vetted contact of TDOC inmate Grenda Ray Harmer, #88710, reporting that Harmer has been without one of his prescription medications, Antivert, for perhaps several months and is experiencing vertigo as a result.

The email states, in part, that Harmer “wrote a letter on Saturday, Aug.11 which I received today.  In it he stated that he wrote to a Dr. Edmund Lane complaining about being taken off of his medication (antiverts?).  He sent a second complaint as well in May but has received no response.  Saturday he woke up feeling dizzy and said he was trying hard to keep from having an ‘attack’.  How long he can fight it off he didn’t know.  The last time he had an attack he woke up with an IV in his arm.”

Harmer has previously granted us permission to write about his health history and medications as it relates to his incarceration.

Harmer, 65, has previously told us that Antivert is one of his prescribed medications and that deprivation of it caused the situation described in the email.

Harmer has been a regular correspondent with this writer for approximately two years, during which he has reported allegations of wrongdoing on the part of prison personnel at three different facilities:  Trousdale Turner Correctional Center (TTCC), owned and operated by private company CoreCivic; South Central Correctional Facility (SCCF) operated by same; and the Morgan County Correctional Complex (MCCX), a state-run facility where he is currently housed.

Last August 1, Harmer was moved to the protective custody (PC) area of the prison after he was threatened by a gang member wielding a knife. Since being confined to “Unit #1,” Harmer has reported one or two occasions where medication was not delivered to him for one or more days, although at the time it was reportedly reinstated.

In mid-March, Harmer filed a federal lawsuit against the TDOC and a number of its employees, including Lane, for alleged deprivation of civil rights under 42 USC 1983.  Our visitors’ log shows that someone using a “State of Tennessee” ISP frequently accesses the article reporting our first knowledge of Harmer’s lawsuit as well as other related articles.

Within several minutes of receiving the source’s message on Tuesday, we contacted TDOC Communications Director Neysa Taylor by email:

Good afternoon, Ms. Taylor, I received a report today that MCCX inmate Grenda Ray Harmer, #88710 is experiencing dizziness from the lack of a medication he was prescribed by Dr. Lane quite some time ago, “Antivert.”

Would you kindly look into it?

Thank you very much.

Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email

Unlike on other occasions within the last six months, Taylor responded immediately with:

I will pass this information along to our clinical health team.

We have not received any update as of this writing. However, earlier on Wedbnesday, this writer was a guest on the “Nooganomics” radio show hosted by David Tulis weekday afternoons from 1 PM to 3 PM ET to speak about Tennessee prison conditions, focusing on Harmer’s copious letters, “Administrative Notices,” and memoranda directed to state legislators, prison personnel, media outlets, TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker, and Gov. Bill Haslam.

The link to the show segment is here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFU5gexPqk8

Over the last two months, Harmer has reported health-code violations related to Unit 1 food  service and harassment on the part of correction officers, including a cell “shakedown” amid claims that he possessed a homemade weapon.  To that, Harmer said he has “never” had a weapon while in prison.

This story was updated at 10:30 AM EDT on Thursday, August 16, 2018 with a link to the referenced radio show segment.

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