by Marilyn Kai Jewett
Philadelphia, Aug. 23, 2018 – The MOVE Organization held a news conference earlier this week to provide an update on the health of its Minister of Communications Ramona Africa. She is the sole survivor of the May 13, 1985, MOVE Massacre, when the City of Philadelphia dropped C-4 military explosives on the MOVE compound and murdered 11 men, women and children when the resulting fire was allowed to burn.
No one from the city government was criminally charged in the brutal attack. However, Ramona, the only adult survivor of the massacre, was unjustly charged and convicted of riot and conspiracy, and served seven years in prison.
Ramona has been gravely ill for the past few months. She has been hospitalized due to complications from post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted in a serious stroke which left her unable to walk.
During her diagnosis, it was discovered that Ramona also has lymphatic cancer. Always in a positive frame of mind, Ramona is upbeat, talking and focused on healing.
“Ramona’s dis-ease is a direct result of the on-going war waged on our Move Family by this government,” said Pam Africa. “Two of our family members died in prison under suspicious circumstances termed ‘cancer.’ Now Ramona is diagnosed with ‘cancer’ and once again, she’s battling to be a survivor. We are standing strong and fighting for the proper medical care for our sister.”
The hospital has informed the MOVE Family that Ramona’s insurance through United Healthcare only pays for 30 days of treatment and will no longer cover her hospital and therapy bills. They said she will be released from both the hospital and therapy unless she can pay the bills herself. Pam Africa said the family is looking for other insurance but were told it would take three to six months for the new insurance to activate.
“Ramona’s dis-ease is a direct result of the on-going war waged on our Move Family by this government,” said Pam Africa.
UPDATE: The MOVE Family has now been told that Medicaid is refusing the grant that the rehabilitation facility applied for that would enable Ramona to be able to stay there and receive therapy and nursing care. According to the family, Medicaid said that because of the Go Fund Me account, Ramona is able to pay her own bills.
That means raising over $5,000 a week if she stays there! Staying in the rehab facility costs $560 a night, or $3,920 a week. Her therapy costs $200-$300 per session five days a week, which amounts to $1,000-$1,500 per week. Ramona also has accumulated a $6,720 past due hospital bill. She’s being told she must pay this amount or her bank account, where the Go Fund Me donations are being deposited, may be subject to search and seizure.
“Ramona is receiving an outpouring of sympathy and support, but we don’t know how long she’ll be able to afford these kinds of bills, barring nothing unforeseen happens,” said Pam Africa. “In the meantime, we’ve decided to bring her home and work from there as best we can. We will continue to stand strong and fight for the proper medical care for our sister. Long Live John Africa. … Ona Move.”
“We can’t wait,” said Pam, explaining why the Go Fund Me account was set up but will be used for her care at home instead of keeping Ramona in the facility. “Our sister needs immediate help. When Ramona comes home, she will need a hospital bed, other medical equipment, therapy and nursing care. Your support and prayers are greatly needed and appreciated.”
“Our sister needs immediate help. When Ramona comes home she will need a hospital bed, other medical equipment, therapy and nursing care. Your support and prayers are greatly needed and appreciated.”
Meanwhile, Ramona’s health is deteriorating and help is needed right away. This is a prime example of the flaws in the U.S. healthcare industry. Thousands of people like Ramona fall through the cracks and are allowed to suffer due to inadequate coverage and care.