Letter from Mr. Sterling Fisher-Bey

Letter from Mr. Sterling Fisher-Bey

Over the last seven years, Gay Gardner, a founder of IAHR and currently IAHR's Special Advisor on Virginia, has corresponded with hundreds of incarcerated men and women in Virginia's prisons. This correspondence reveals thousands of allegations of inadequate medical care and human rights abuses.  Below you will find a letter from Mr. Sterling Fisher-Bey who is incarcerated in a Virginia State Prison. In the letter Mr. Fisher-Bey acknowledges IAHR's assistance in helping him receive medical care for a serious condition.


Date: 6/24/2022 11:22:27 PM

To: Gay Gardner Attachments: Rlg-16-PsRvers_C.jpg

Greetings Ms. Gardner, First Off, I Hope You Are Well Upon Receiving This Brief Missive And All Whom You Care For And Keep Close To Heart Also. I Don't Mean to try Your Patience But I Had To Send This Email So You Would Know How Very Important Your Assistance Really Was To Me.

I Was Called Over to Medical Yesterday, June The 23,2022 By Doctor O. Soon As I Came into The Room He Began Apologizing For The Mix Up And Lack Of Attention To My Medical Needs. I Stayed Calm and Collected And Listened To Him Speak.

He Took Me Through "All" Of My Paperwork And Showed Me That "HE" Had Not Dropped The Ball On Me; It Was The Other Staff's Responsibility, A Mrs. W.  Seems As If The Internal Strife Behind The Scenes Is Causing The Inmate Population To Suffer. When We Suffer, "The Angels Come Out In Battle Array." (SMILE) Again He Just Kept Apologizing Shaking My Hand. Finally, We Get Down To Brass Tacks And He Informs Me That The Spot On My Lung Isn't Cancer. The Pains In My Lower Back are Not From A Nerve Issue. What I Have Is A Rare Condition That Isn't Commonly Seen. "MORGAGNI HERNIA"[1] Is What It Is. And It's A Fatal Condition That's Often Misdiagnosed As Pneumonia. The Background Is Too Exhaustive To Write But It's A Very Interesting Read.

The Spot Was in fact A hole In My Lung That Allowed My Intestine To Enter Which Caused My Back Pains And Could Have Killed Me. I Kept Complaining That My lungs Would Not Fill Up With Air And I Could hardly Breath. I Was Told That If I Was Talking Then I Was Breathing. Little Did Anyone (notice) That This Condition Kills By Strangulation/ Suffocation. Had You and Your Organization Not Stepped In, I Hate To Even Think What My End Might Have Been. Doctor O. Said That My CT Scan Results Took So Long To Return Because The Doctors Didn't Know What To Look For. It Took 7 Days Before The Results Came In.

Now Here's The Kicker Ms. Gardner, "I Have Been Scheduled To Go In For Surgery Next Week At MCV[2] (i.e., Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center) To Correct The Problem." I've Been Assigned Two Master Surgeons Also. One Is A Mesh (Hernia) Specialist And The Other A Lung Specialist. When I Tell You That Dr. O. Was" VERY FORTHCOMING" That's Not An Over Statement. I Saw Everything That I'm Now Writing With My Own Eyes. He Let Me Know How Bad My Situation Really Is And How Fortunate I Am To Have Caught This In Time. He Stressed How He Was Going To Take Care Of Me, Nurse Me Back To Full Health. That After My Surgery I'd Be At MCV For About 5/6 Days Before Returning Back Here To Buckingham Corr. Center. Once I've Returned He Wants Me To Remain In The Infirmary For 3/4 Days Before Going Back To The Bldg.

Ms. Gardner I Just Want To Thank You Once Again For All You Have Done. Before I Close, Two Things; Dr. O. Asked Me If I Knew What Was Holding Up The CT Scan? I Calmly Said, " Yes I Know." " What Was It Then???" He Was Kind Of Snooty but I Responded Very Calmly, " There Was No Contrast At Any Of The Major Hospital Facilities, MCV, VCU Or UVA. By The Way," Did You Know That The Contrast Comes From China?"

Ms. Gardner This African Doctor Looked Like He'd Just Gone To The Bathroom On Himself Before Nervously Shaking His Head In Total Agreement With Me." How Did You Know!!!" "How???" " Oh My!!!" It Felt So Good To Honestly Say To Him, " Dr. O., there Are People That Actually Care About Some Of Us Behind These Walls." "GOD Has People Everywhere Watching Out And Waiting."

Before I Left He Gave Me A Full Printout Of My Condition From The Royal College Of Surgeons Of England. Then He Shook My Hand And Asked Me To," Please Contact Your People Let Them Know What I Showed You And I'm Doing My Best." " Here On Out You Will Be My Patient." I Don't Know What All Was Said To Him Nor By Whom, However, Something Has Shaken This Man Up Real Good. He Has A Very Ugly Medical Past With Deaths Attached. He Shared That With Me But I Cut Him Off. "We All Have A Past But Our Past Is Just That, The Past. Let's Focus On The Future”, Is What I Told Him.

What You And Your Organization Stand For Matter's!!!! The Care That You All Take And The Encounters You Willing Step Up To Face On Our Behalf Is Unbelievable. Once Again I Thank You And I'm Praying For You're Longevity And Health In All Thing's. "BE BLESSED!!!!!!!!!!"

Respectfully Yours Always, Mr. Sterling W. Fisher-Bey

[1] Hernia of Morgagni is the most rare of the four types of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (2%–3% of all cases). It occurs due to a defect on the anterior part of the diaphragm, which allows abdominal organs to penetrate into the thoracic cavity. In adults, it commonly presents with non-specific symptoms—for example, excess flatulence and indigestion. In severe cases, it might present with symptoms of bowel obstruction or strangulation. (editor’s note)

[2] VCU Medical Center used to be known as Medical College of Virginia (MCV), which merged with Richmond Professional Institute in 1968 to create Virginia Commonwealth University. In the 1990s, an authority controlling MCV Hospitals was created called the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals Authority. (editor’s note)