By Donna Kay Tucker
Texas Prisoners Advocates
Current State Of Medical Conditions In Texas Department of Corrections
Regarding Beatrice Mata TDC#929049
1401 State School Road
My name is Beatrice Mata TDC#929049.I came to T.D.C. July 14, 2000. On July 15, 2000 I received a pill pass while at Woodman, prior to receiving this medication pass I had seen no doctor and wanted to refuse. I was told a case would be written against me for refusing medication. I went to the pill line as directed because I was afraid I would be punished and did not know better. I still have the handwritten pass in my possession that was for 150mg Mellaril and 150mg Doxipan. Mr. Fox, the male nurse, handed me 4 pills all different colors and sizes.
I took them and by the time I got back to my cell block my roommate Ester Cantu said I was already unable to speak and changing colors. She said I took off all my clothes,except my boots. I do not remember any of this. They tried to re-dress me and get me into my bunk. I was sweating and Ester poured water on my neck to cool me off. She says I immediately went into seizures. The inmates watched me until they noticed blood coming from my nose and the seizures continued. They called for officers, who took their time in responding.
The first to respond was a male officer; I do not know his name. He was very worried and despite his calls on the radio for help officers were slow to come.
Paramedics were finally called and an ambulance came. They removed the inmates from our cell while I was being stabilized and put onto a stretcher. I was taken out under oxygen by ambulance to Coryell Hospital in Gatesville. Inmate Cantu says my bunk was covered in blood. An ssi was called to clean up the mess but she refused, due to the amount of blood so Ester Cantu cleaned it up herself.
I woke up July 20, 2000 in Coryell hospital in I.C.U. I still could not talk. I did not realize it was days later. I was handcuffed and shackled to the bed, covered in dried blood. I had hemoraged from every orifice and received 2 pints of plasma. I was forced to get up and try to walk, but collapsed. I was unable to respond but put back into bed by nurses.
Then I was transferred to the Hughes Unit (a mens unit.) I was given no wheelchair or help and forced to crawl to the van handcuffed and legs shackled. Dr. Smith at Hughes Unit said I had suffered a heat stroke, I had to crawl to use the bathroom; no one tried to help me, turn me or move me, sometimes I was left hanging off the bed for hours on end. I went days at at time with no food, because they refused to feed me. I had no use of my arms and no speech.Three weeks later I noticed my face drooped all out of shape and my pillow was covered in saliva.
The next week I was moved by ambulance to John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. A neurologist there told me I had suffered a stroke, not a heat stroke. I had a fever of 106 and he said I had suffered 4 days of seizures and was 5 days in a coma. Because of this I developed Guillain Barre Syndrome. I went through horrible physical pain from July 20, 2000 through October of 2001; my eyelids had to be taped shut for me to sleep. I am still unable to cry when necessary, but cry uncontrollably for some reason when I eat so I avoid the chow hall.
I went through numerous tests and unbelievable pain because they claimed they didn't know I could feel pain, but I suffered terribly. They did lumbar spinals, MRIs, CTscans, and put some type of dye into my veins and repeatedly shocked my muscles. The pain I went through was horrible. I kept getting worse. I went back and forth to John Sealy and Hughes approximately 8 times.
Unable to walk I remained in a wheelchair until October 2001. I would fall in the shower on the Hughes Unit and only male inmates offered to help me, but I refused. Slowly, in October 2001 I began to regain use of my arms and legs. I was sent to physical therapy a few times. A year after the overdose, they moved me to Reception Unit, where I remain suffering.
Sharing by: Brenda Pitts Bennett
Texas Advocates For Justice
www.geocities.com/copbrutality (click on "index")
Editor's note: In a letter to me dated June 18, 2002 Beatrice Mata stated the following:
Dear Ms. Johnson,
I got your letter a couple of days ago. It moved me emotionally to know someone took the time to write. At least I feel someone cares.
The answers to your question, I will never find out if my incident was done on purpose. But I have noticed a lot of Hispanics have been denied medical like Mary Ann Boike, Erma Gonzales, Maria Machuea, Ms. Morales; I mean the toll continues.
My race is Hispanic. I'm 53 years old. No education; yes, my opinion is there is an agenda in T.D.C. against Hispanics and then Blacks; Blacks get treated better than Hispanics.
When I was in county I was given medication because I am a heroin user. But I don't know why I was given this medication. I have the pill pass that says I was to get 150mg Millerill & 150 mg. doxipin. Now why 300 mg? And why two different kind of pills? But when I get to the pill line I got four pills of different sizes and different colors. If I didn't go to pill line I would have gotten a case.
I am depressed, emotional, and I'm hurting physically; I still have nightmares. I have a speech defect. I walk like a robot. My eye sight is all messed up. There's more physical problems that I'm not adding to this letter. The Warden's name is "Amend."
I'll be released anytime in July ? 2002. I'll be going to my daughter's house. [She provided the address.]
Thank you so much Ms. Johnson, please continue with your support. I need all the help I can get.
Beatrice Mata #929049
P.S. No, I didn't see a doctor.