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Belize Assembly for Persons With Diverse Abilities pleads with Central Prison for urgent medical care to save paraplegic inmate’s life

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Posted: Friday, June 19, 2020. 3:02 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Assembly for Persons With Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) is pleading with the Kolbe Foundation, the managing authority of the Belize Central Prison, to allow paraplegic inmate, Aspinal Welch, access to critically urgent medical care at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

Roxanne Marin, President of BAPDA, explained today that the organization has been pleading for Welch to be brought down to the KHMH since March. She acknowledged that there were some concerns related to COVID-19 which may have stalled the process, but she feels that further delay could have severe consequences for Welch’s health and life.

“We nuh wah wait until dis man dead fi deh come and seh ‘Oh, why deh neva do something?” Marin told BBN.

Marin said that Welch, who has terrible bedsores, is receiving sub-par care at the prison, having his dressings changed only once a day. He stressed that such a practice could lead to infection, further complicating his condition which may eventually kill him. She also noted that Welch has been in excruciating pain for so long in the prison’s care, or lack of it, that he has slipped into depression and is currently on suicide watch at the prison.

BAPDA has been working with the Human Rights Commission and the Office of the Ombudsman in the case, and through some advocacy has secured a deal with the KHMH that Welch’s medical care would be covered, leaving the prison with the singular job of getting him to the KHMH to receive said care.

It has only been seven months since Welch was in the news with a similar issue. Back in November 2019, Welch’s relatives called on the media to help amplify their cries for help, as Welch languished in prison with is injures threatening to kill him.

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