The cause of death of Tyson John, the inmate who died after collapsing at the Belle Isle Correctional Facility on April 6, is asphyxiation (choking) prison officials have confirmed.
Superintendent of Prisons (Ag) Dwayne Bailey said that the postmortem was conducted on April 11 and that it had been determined that he died after choking on his vomit.
According to Bailey, John who had been convicted and serving a six-year sentence for wounding with intent, worked on the prison farm at Belle Isle.
He died days before his scheduled release, Bailey said, adding that John would have been released sooner but had his sentence extended for several infractions which he incurred while serving time.
Among those infractions Bailey said, was possession of a mobile phone, but outside of those infractions the Head of Prisons said that John was well mannered, and he had no issues with members of staff.
In fact, John featured in the five-a-side football tournament which is currently ongoing and played on the day of his death.
“He played football…apparently he ate and drank water and he vomited; however the vomit did not come out and went into his lungs,” Bailey explained.
Based on information that he received, Bailey said John came to the office complaining of chest pains, on the day in question.
Unfortunately the inmate could not be transported immediately to the nearest clinic since the designated transport was not available because it was under repair.
John was instructed to hold on while staff tried to make other arrangements to have the inmate transported to get medical attention.
About five minutes later, Bailey said that John returned and again complained about chest pains. It was then that an officer offered to transport him – in his private vehicle – to the Spring Village Clinic where he eventually died.
“I am satisfied from going down and talking to persons that protocol was followed,” Bailey said .
He added that he did not think that it was a situation where members of staff hesitated before assisting him to receive medical attention.
“The prisoner was of good behavior, he was working on the prison farm and was not a prisoner who was disliked,” Bailey said.
“The staff followed procedure and the only reason why he was not able to leave immediately to receive medical attention was because the vehicle was not there,” he continued.
But the general public should know, he asserted, that an officer transported the inmate using his personal vehicle.
According to Bailey, he has since reached out to the family whom he knew before John’s incarceration.
“It is unfortunate that he died in that manner,” Bailey admitted.
Inmates at both the Kingstown and Belle Isle Facility receive weekly checkups from medical professionals attached to the Ministry of Health, with inmates suffering from diabetes and hypertension receiving special care, Bailey confirmed.
Dental care is also extended and in the event of a medical emergency at Belle Isle, the inmate is transported to the Buccament Health Facility, or to Kingstown if they are so referred.
Source : The Vincentiam