by Wadiya Jamal
April 5, 2015 – Enough is enough! Today is my birthday. April 24 is Mumia’s 61st birthday. But today my husband is in critical condition in a cell in the infirmary at SCI Mahanoy. We need Mumia free and home!
This rotten ass system has made many attempts on my husband’s life when his only crime is that on Dec. 9, 1981, he survived a cop’s gunshot to the chest through his lungs to the liver, a serious ass whipping by cops on the street of 13th and Locust, then cops surrounding his hospital bed stepping on his urine bag making the poison go back up into his body.
He is innocent in the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner – and the cops on the scene all knew that. But Mumia was convicted for a murder he did not commit and sentenced to death.
For over 30 years my husband was on death row – in solitary confinement! – where he was caged 24 hours a day, in his cell and even when outside. In general population these past three years, he has yet to receive his correct diet!
He developed a skin disease that spread over his whole body, treated with wrong medicine that he was allergic to, had pneumonia, and last Monday, March 30, he went into diabetic shock with a blood sugar level of a deadly high of 779 and rushed to the hospital and put into the ICU on an insulin drip.
During these years on death row and now slow death row, Mumia has lost his mother, his sister, a brother, our brother Jahlani, my mother, my father and our baby girl Goldii, who was very active in trying to free him ‘til the end of her life. Every single one of them expected to see him come home a free man, because like us all they believe in his innocence. May Allah bless and have mercy on their sweet souls!
The prison didn’t even let me know my husband had been rushed to the hospital and put into the ICU. I was told by (attorney) Rachel Wolkenstein, and then I called to find out what happened and where Mumia was taken. And then the prison blocked my visit at the hospital until the international campaign flooded the prison and Pennsylvania Department of Corrections with protest calls.
Guards stood outside the hospital room and one was inside the room with Mumia. I was shocked at his condition: He had lost over 40 pounds, was weak, barely able to sit up and keep his head up, handcuffed to his chair, with labored breathing and dry mouth. I told him about all the love outpouring for him and that the world is watching!
News media waited outside the hospital for our report after Mumia’s brother Keith Cook and I visited Mumia. It took all my strength and the memory of our daughter Goldii for me to be able to speak to the press after seeing my very ill, weak husband.
The press did report Mumia’s serious medical condition … But the press wouldn’t report my statement that Mumia is innocent, he should never have been arrested or convicted! He should never have been in prison. This medical condition should never have happened. Mumia needs to be free!
The prison superintendent promised that Keith and I and other family members would be able to visit Mumia again the next day, Wednesday. But when we arrived for the visit, we were refused, with the new “Mumia rule” that a person could have only one visit a week with a prisoner.
After more protests, the prison allowed Mumia’s eldest son, Jamal Hart, who had driven over 400 miles, and his younger brother, Bill Cook, to visit. They described Mumia as in worse condition than he was the day before. Jamal came out, saying: “I couldn’t stand there and watch my father in pain. I kissed and hugged him and left.”
Jamal and I had medical consults with the attending doctors and the ICU nurse. They described my husband’s arrival in the ICU with a blood sugar level of 779, an abnormal kidney and dangerously high sodium levels. They had Mumia on an insulin drip and later tested him for gallstones, which they found he had.
When asked, the hospital admitted that they didn’t have a diabetes specialist. That morning (Wednesday) his blood sugar level was still a very high 333. The attending doctor told us they needed his bed in the ICU for other patients. But the kidney doctor said that he would check my husband the next morning as to whether his kidney function was normal.
Yet, just a few hours later, without letting us know, Mumia was sent back to the prison, without an expert medical diagnosis or a treatment plan or his sugar levels under control. He was transferred back to the prison infirmary with a temperature of 102 degrees – to the same people who knew for weeks and didn’t treat his “new onset diabetes” before he collapsed and went into diabetic shock.
This is execution by medical neglect and mistreatment.
On Thursday, April 2, I spoke with the chief health care administrator at SCI Mahanoy (prison), who gave me a report and said that I could call and get medical updates on Mumia’s health day or night. But from my first call late Thursday night through this weekend, my attempts to reach the infirmary were blocked.
This is execution by medical neglect and mistreatment.
On Friday, April 3, some family and friends were able to visit Mumia. Instead of allowing visits in the infirmary, they had Mumia brought down to the general visiting room in a wheelchair. He had to go through security checks between the infirmary and the visiting area, meaning taking his clothes on and off and a body search.
His brother, Keith Cook, who had seen Mumia on Tuesday, said Mumia appeared worse. My sister, Rachel Wolkenstein, said Mumia appeared very sick, and was so weak he was barely able to hold a pen to sign a legal document.
Mumia told those visiting, also including Mike Africa, Abdul John and Johanna Fernandez, that his morning blood sugar was 186 and spiked again to around 330 after a lunch of spaghetti! Mumia was very tired but alert and asked about the court hearing on the “Silencing Act” went and whether there was a decision yet.
We have no new information on Mumia’s condition. Pam Africa and Johanna Fernandez are attempting to visit him Monday, April 6. I will be visiting on Thursday.
What you can do now
Diabetes is a deadly disease. My mother had diabetes. It requires constant care and healthy food. It can lead to loss of eyesight, nerve damage, amputation and loss of kidney function. Mumia has had problems with his feet and leg for years, also not adequately treated.
Send your letters and cards with love and news to Mumia. His address is: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM-8335, SCI Mahanoy, 301 Morea Dr., Frackville, PA 17932.
To all those people around the world who have stated their love and support for Mumia over the years, please, please, please ACT NOW! WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE PRESSURE.
Let SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes and Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel know we insist that Mumia have a diabetes specialist examine and treat him. Call:
- SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes, 570-773-2158, ext. 8102; call early to get through
- SCI Mahanoy Chief Health Care Administrator Steinhardt, 570-773-2158
- Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Health Care Services Director Christopher Oppman, 717-728-5309
- Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Secretary John Wetzel, 717-728-4109
Support and contribute to the Indiegogo online campaign to raise money to help pay for the legal and medical campaign for Mumia, including costs for Mumia’s family, friends and core organizers to travel to see Mumia.
Heed Goldii’s words: “My father is still considered to be a dangerous individual … his mind is what they fear, there is over-whelming evidence that would exonerate him of his conviction.
“He is an innocent man and the commonwealth has always known this, but being too Black, too smart, and too strong … The government will silence anyone who possesses the power to open the minds of the people.”
MUMIA MUST LIVE! HE NEEDS MEDICAL CARE AND ATTENTION. WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR HIM TO GET THAT CARE NOW. BUT WE NEED TO FIGHT TO GET MUMIA OUT OF PRISON, FREE AND HOME, NOW!
Wadiya Jamal, with Big Pride
Send your message back to me via my Facebook “inbox,” at www. Facebook.com/WadiyaJamal. Or write to me at: Wadiya Jamal, P.O. Box 19404, Kingsessing Station, Philadelphia, Pa. 19143-9998.