Say you go to jail, for a traffic ticket, probation violation, etc. It happens. Not everyone in jail is a predator or violent offender. Not all are a danger to society. Some just broke the law and this is what happens. And that is what happened to Joan Laurel Small. She was in jail for a parole violation. And she was like 7 1/2 months pregnant. She had some problems with the pregnancy and told jail officials when she was brought in. She and her boyfriend were very excited about becoming parents, even down to picking out names for the baby. Instead, inside the jail, tragedy struck. And it could have been prevented if not for the jail officials. Joan started to leak amniotic fluid. She told someone, what did they do? Nothing. She should have gone to the hospital immediately, but they did nothing. Finally, the next day, they gave her an ultrasound, which showed that the baby was now dead. So, of course the jail helped her then, right? NO. She remained in the jail, with her dead baby STILL INSIDE OF HER. Now, that is just wrong. It is neglect and also, in my opinion, very malicious. Anyone would know that not delivering the dead baby is physically harmful to the mother and also emotionally harmful to her. It took her lawyer getting a Judge to order her release to get the jail to take her to the hospital to deliver the baby. Of course, when they did, there was no amniotic fluid left, so the baby could not have survived anyway. One of the worst things said was by Chief Scott Salley of the Collier County Jail:
“Medically and administratively, everything was followed by policy,” Salley said, adding that logs show she was provided with “adequate” health care. “There was nothing out of the ordinary about her ailment.”
So apparently it is not out of the ordinary to have a dead 7 1/2 month old fetus inside of a woman. I sure hope he can medically and scientifically prove that, because Dr. Gary Helmbrecht of Virginia, a member of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who testifies as a fetal medical expert, says otherwise. He said it was harmful to her. In fact, when she finally delivered the baby, she already showed signs of sepic shock. But I guess Chief Sulley thinks that is normal and not out of the ordinary. He needs to remember that just because she was an inmate did not mean that she was not human. I realize that many people believe people in jail don’t deserve anything, but proper medical treatment is a right that all human beings deserve, in jail or not. Obviously the jail is going to defend itself and say stuff like, she did not complain about the leakage or pain, etc. But taped phone calls and notes from medical staff say otherwise. Wonder if that evidence will disappear. However, any treatment PRIOR to this is not the point. The point is what happened after she told them she was leaking fluid. And when they KNEW she had a dead baby inside of her. Leaving that dead baby inside of her is outrageous and they cannot say they did not know about that. Period.
My heart goes out to Joan and her boyfriend for the loss of their child and for the horrific treatment she received by the Collier County Jail. I hope she sues the shit out of them and that they all, especially Chief Scott Salley.