Update from GoFundMe: Hello! It’s been two weeks since my last update so, I figured a detailed update was due.
On Friday, March 17th, Jason’s forensic psychiatrist submitted the second psycho-diagnostic assessment. Based on conversations I had with her, I believe she will agree with the first assessment, which diagnosed Jason with having PTSD, comorbid with being on the psychosis spectrum. (His VA psychiatrist believes it stems from his second tour in Iraq due to events — yes, plural — he experienced in theatre.)
Originally, we were told there would be a competency hearing within 10 days of the report being submitted but it turns out, there will NOT be a hearing in the near future. Instead, there is a “status conference” scheduled for the first week of April, presumably so that all sides can discuss their positions and decide how to move forward.
Thus far, the prosecution has remained fairly neutral. That’s what they promised and that’s what they’ve done. (Mind you, they decided to remain neutral AFTER they stacked charges against him. But — that’s another story.)
The hope is that the judge, prosecution and defence will have seen the report BEFORE this conference, and everyone will be in agreement about how to go forward. At the conference, we can set dates, and we’ll finally know what day this case will end.
At this point, I don’t think there’s anyone who believes that jail is the appropriate place for Jason to go. But, just because of the way things are always done (procedure), that’s where he is. He was taken back to jail on Tuesday (two business days after the court received the assessment).
Jason had a serious reaction to the first anti-psychotic he was prescribed. He gained 50 pounds, was pre-diabetic (his sugar was VERY high) and his cholesterol sky-rocketed. And, it’s not because he was overeating. Those of you who know Jason know, he’s never been a heavy-set man — muscular, sure — but never overweight.
So, his forensic psychiatrist took him off the meds immediately and prescribed him a newer anti-psychotic that has the fewest chance of side-effects. However, the Ohio Department of Corrections doesn’t provide this new medication. They only pay for five types of anti-psychotics. He’s had an adverse reaction to one, leaving the jail with only four options. His psychiatrist gave the jail a 10 day supply but since his conference is 14 days AFTER he was taken back to jail, I’m curious what they will do when the meds run out.
I know I’ve been a very vocal advocate, not just for Jason’s case, but for the proper treatment of mentally ill defendants going through the justice system — and especially veterans who’s service directly relates to their case. But, I’m trying my best to hold it together, and I’m trying my best not to think about what’s happening every minute of every day. That’s why I don’t talk about it as much as I used to.
But, I do have to point out that in 3 days, Jason’s case will enter MONTH 5. He’s spent 75 per cent of that time in custody.
I’m going to end it on this note: I’ve never faulted any one person or any group for what’s happened. I truly believe it’s procedure and it’s the system. But, having said that, there are better ways to do things that don’t require major legislative changes. There are choices that can be made by those involved that are within the law. But, sometimes, it becomes a matter of hands being tied due to politics, public expectations, lack of funding, etc.
I have always had nothing but the utmost respect for our first-responders, and our public servants. But, we can’t constantly just be discussing injustice. It does require people to take a stand. As you can see, a whole lot of people have remained neutral on this case. And we’ve seen what being neutral does. It keeps a person away from medical care that they desperately need.
I’ll end with this verse from the bible because it’s been on my mind the past few days:
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” -Revelation 3:15-16
Here’s a summary of what’s happened so far. (Sorry to keep harping on the same tune, but I just don’t want anyone to ever forget what’s happened):
- He was arrested sometime overnight between Nov. 29th and 30th.
- The police and the medical team at the jail made the decision that he needed medical attention. I thanked the police myself for coming to this conclusion. It was the right conclusion.
- Jason spent half a day in the emergency room before he was admitted. He was in the hospital for two days before he was transferred to a psychiatric facility.
- He stayed at the psychiatric facility for 18 days before being transferred back to jail WITH AN ORDER TO SEE A SPECIALIST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE REGARDING HIS THYROID.
- He didn’t see a medical doctor at the jail until 31 days later.
- Fed up, I finally raised enough money to bond him out.
- Within 24 BUSINESS hours, he walked through the doors of Veterans Affairs and received the best care he had received since being taken into custody.
- He saw doctors/health professionals a minimum of two to three times a week.
- Then at his last hearing, the judge decided to revoke his bond and take him back to custody.
- He spent two weeks in jail before a bed opened up at the psychiatric facility and he was transferred back for a second psychiatric assessment.
- He was assessed and then taken back to jail where he’s waiting for his meds to run out.
- When he was released from the psychiatric facility this time around, he was ordered AGAIN to see a specialist regarding his thyroid.
REMEMBER, MONTH 5. LABS HAVE BEEN DONE 5 TIMES:
- LABS WERE DONE BY THE JAIL. RESULT: He was taken to hospital.
- LABS WERE DONE BY THE PSYCHIATRIC FACILITY. RESULT: They told the jail they needed to refer him to endocrinology.
- LABS WERE DONE BY THE JAIL. RESULT: They adjusted his meds but I bonded him out before he was referred to endocrinology.
- LABS WERE DONE BY THE VA WHILE ON BOND. RESULT: They did assign him an endocrinologist but the judge re-arrested Jason.
- LABS WERE DONE AGAIN AT THE PSYCHIATRIC FACILITY. RESULT: They told the jail Jason needed to see a specialist.
Four months (entering month 5). No progress on this front. No progress on one of the emergencies that brought him into the ER after arrest. Wow.