Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ashlie Cheyanne Bunch - 2008

15 year old Ashlie Bunch had her problems in this world.

Still as it is written in the Seattle times: "Most of the time, Ashlie Bunch seemed to be a normal teenager, enjoying friends, soccer and family trips."

At some point her family sought help for her. Unfortunately DSHS did choose the McGraw Residential Center for her. It turned out to be a fatal mistake.

One day she was found hanging from a cabinet. She had used a shoelace; employees had given despite knowledge given to them about her suicidal mind.

It was as much neglect as it could be. The family sued just to make an example because regardless of how money the suit could produce incidents like this must never happen again.

Ashlie Bunch's young life ended when it was just begun because she was failed by the facility and their employees. It was a senseless tragedy.

May she rest in peace.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unknown - 2010

In an remote outskirt of a small town called Virgin in Utah a 15 year old boy suddenly felt a pain in his head. What set this lethal birth defect up is unknown. Was he upset? Was he forced to move stones weighing half his own weight as they force the boys to do as punishment? Did the staff try to restrain him believing that he faked his illness?

We cannot know that. Fact is that the many miles from any hospital meant that he had no chance of survival once the attack came.

On the memorial site created by his mother she explain why he was sent away. Strange and partly dangerous behavior made his mother believe that she had no other choice but to choose a so-called residential treatment center.

But she had another choice. It is common knowledge that tumors or birth defects in the brain can push nerves and interfere with common sense.

But none show his behavior as a symptom of a deadly illness. They only saw a troubled teenager in need of a punishment and punishment he certainly got.

No phone calls, no visits, only letter writing. And the mail was not even by computer. A letter of comfort would take days to reach him.

Days of moving rocks, participating in a in-house school with a curriculum which would have been difficult to get credits for back in Texas. That was the sorry life he had to endure until his body couldn't take it anymore.

Hidden birth defects and brain aneurysm kills a lot of people every year. We need to increase awareness of that. Especially we who are parents need to be on alert so we don't commit the same failure and punish our children instead of taking them to a hospital where they can be examined and if possible treated.

May he rest in peace. His fate must never be forgotten.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Geoffrey Alan Vorhies - 1992

It was January 1992 when 13 year old Geoffrey Alan Vorhies realized that he had no options left in the environment he had been left in. No therapy to help him with his problems. There was only one way left in his mind: To end it all.

Little would it be known that his death would be the first of 3 cases so far where teenagers had hanged themselves in custody of this detention center of death.

So much potential was lost. A life spanning only 13 years is hardly a life at all.

A boy in his situation should have gotten help - not punishment. Sadly enough we are now standing here 20 years later and very little have changed.

It is not good enough. Nothing was learned from his death and a lesson in proper handling of boys in his situation should be the least we owe him.

May he rest in peace.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kelly Young - 1998

17 year old Kelly Young became upset after af telephone conversation with her grand mother. We don't know what led to her becoming upset, but we do know that the staff did choose to confront her instead of leading the other residents away until she would have calmed down.

The confrontation resulted in her death.

Afterwards a lot of regulations were put in place. However the numbers don't lie. There have been deaths as result of the use of restraints since.

There is no information concerning the reason for the placement of Kelly Young in such a facility. Would there have been options which could have kept her home and receive treatment from home?

The answers seem to remain unanswered.

May she rest in peace.

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