A Death "Almost Too Horrible to Believe"

We're going to tell you the story of Patrick Cavanaugh, a 60-year old inmate at the Ely State Prison in Ely, Nev. Patrick was an insulin-dependent diabetic who was imprisoned at Ely for two years. During his time at Ely, Patrick was denied regular insulin injections, which, as many people know, is essential for diabetics to lead a healthy life. As a result of this deprivation of insulin, he developed gangrene. This didn't go unnoticed by prison staff: the smell of putrefying flesh was hard to miss. The medical staff could have opted to have the decayed, gangrenous limbs amputated, which would have saved Patrick's life. Instead, they did nothing, and Patrick essentially rotted to death.

Patrick's story is just one of hundreds - 1,000 men are incarcerated at Ely State Prison, and many of them are suffering tremendously. Their pain was clear to Dr. William Noel, a local doctor of osteopathic medicine whom the ACLU's National Prison Project (NPP) retained to examine the medical records of 35 inmates at Ely. In his report, Dr. Noel writes:

"[T]he medical care provided at Ely State Prison amounts to the grossest possible medical malpractice, and the most shocking and callous disregard for human life and human suffering that I have ever encountered in the medical profession in my thirty-five years of practice."

To read Dr. Noel's report is to read a litany of gross abuse and great suffering. Dr. Noel described Patrick's death as "almost too horrible to believe." Today, the ACLU's National Prison Project filed a lawsuit on behalf of all of the prisoners at Ely, accusing the top state and prison officials of failing to fix a pervasive pattern of grossly inadequate medical care for prisoners.

Mind you, bringing this lawsuit is the last thing we wanted to do. We were notified of the conditions at Ely through our Nevada affiliate, who received calls from the family members of inmates who were suffering inside the prison. We retained Dr. Noel to examine the medical records of the 35 prisoners Ely officials would allow us to review. And Dr. Noel isn't some big-city doctor who would impose unrealistic expectations upon a small-town Nevada prison's medical staff. Dr. Noel is from Boise, Idaho, and practiced medicine in Ely in the early 90's; he applied the standard of care of the community to which he's very familiar when reviewing these records.

After learning about the horrific conditions at Ely, the NPP sought to remedy these gross abuses through a consent decree with state prison officials. In our decree, we merely ask for Ely to comply with the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) Standards for Health Services in Prison, and hire a full-time doctor to work at the prison. (The last medical doctor on staff Ely, Dr. Steven MacArthur, was an obstetrician-gynecologist overseeing the medical care of 1,000 male inmates.)

But prison officials rejected our proposal; instead they promised to fix things, and transferred many of the inmates with the worst medical conditions to High Desert Correctional Facility, where medical care reportedly isn't any better. After months of inaction by corrections officials, and considering the ongoing suffering of the prisoners inside Ely, we decided that litigation was our best recourse.

You can learn more about the case against Ely State Prison at www.aclu.org/ely.

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karma is a mother... perhaps someone will finally accept responsibility for ones death.. whether it be out on the street, hospital or incarceration... until it hits home to one of your loved ones none of this means anything... it is going on in america.. all over the county not just normal people but even those with mental illness.. family members need to step up and be a voice..


This ia exactly what they did to my father!!!He was overdue to come home in may of 05 and was housed at casa granda transitonal unit when he became ill from his diabetes and fainted. And from what i have been told by the ADA they are trained to call 911 immeditly if a diabetic is faint or faints. Instead they called high state desert prison and he lay waiting for them to pick him up for at least 1 hr. They took him back to high state and let him lay and he was finally taken to valley hospital in vegas when they thought he was going to die by the time they got him to valley he was in a diabetic coma and his blood suger was at 800+

kathleen Territo

My son was stabbed in the heart on late eve 20 Feb 2008 in Seattle, WA. he was 29. My son had somemental illness, diagnoses in early 20's coupled with alcohol and drug addictins. Sounds no so good. But my baby died. This past New Years my son had been on probation, but was in a local pub having beer ( not right to do on probation ) he didn't want to be late for his 1/2 way type house and was running home. This night a young lady with the Sierra club was very brutally murdered. 5 days later my son was picked up, the news media' destroyed him, the x girl friend was very unkind, very. But do to his own things he created, he made his life more sad and difficult. Anyway, They picked up my Billy ( Ball - Territo 3/18/78 born in Rocky Mount,NC ) for this murder, when all the time they had the real murderer' and DNA. King County jail was over-crowded, and my son William was held at the Monroe Prison, Washington State, from 5 Jan 08 till 25 Jan 08. They had already picked up the murder of the young lady, and surely they had the DNA. He was assassinated by the media and everyone, that in its-self was criminal. There were lots of people who loved Will, and those he worked with and for. He had not been able to see his baby son for 3 years and three weeks before his stabbing death 20 Feb 08 11:30pm He did get to see his son. However, his last phone call was to Brenda, his childs mother. William was on his way to see her, when he stopped off somewhere and ended up having some drinks, and although no witnesses, was in some sort of fight. To me, Down fall being something unkind / lie-ing of Brenda. He would not go off the waggon since he was giong to be able to see his son again, and not the late eve' of his travels to north wa.... something fishy here. They all treated him as white trash and prejudiced , profiling against him. Please help me. Everything was so wrongly and unkind of what happened to my son William.

Kathleen Youngkin Territo 304-292-3374 or possibly cell 304-276-9688. I leave in Morgantown West Virginia at present. 2 Smithtown Rd, Morgantown, WV 26508

I hope you can assist in this miserable sad, unkind profiling and prejudice against my son. He was not white trash, he came from loving parents, we knew he needed help, the center there had changed his medications ( of which he told us was not working ) he was so very bright and talented. I pray there is something you can help me with on this unfairness. . . kayterr0023@gmail.com

Most sincerely,

Kathleen Territo

One of your for...

Again, we find you on yet another website trying to lure more victims into your cruel grasp.
You are a convicted felon. You've lived from one lawsuit to another, from one little ole lady to a Christian couple, an unsuspecting married doctor to crushing your own daughter-in-law. Why is it that you are legally forbidden from seeing your own grandson?
Stop pleaing for help. The kind you really need is mental health. You destroyed your son's heart and soul; he made that clear to everyone throughout his life. He told us all: He hated you, even to the day he died.
You still blame others only. The guilt should mostly be yours. You tormented him relentlessly, as you have many of us. Now, stop trying to benefit financially and emotionally from his death. Shame on you. You're a lier and schemer.
Stop trying to lure others into an emotional trap, and then a financial one like you did us.

you know who i am...

this woman has divorced reality. she sacrificed her children over her lovers and travels...

the first one, we all know what became of him, poor guy!

some people should never be allow to have children.

my name is Brenda

so how much money did you make by writing about the drugs william took? how much more money do you think you can make by suing everyone else who got involved in this case???? when are you going to stop? William was a perfectly cute and healthy baby boy until he realized he was bron from you... then all he could thin about was ways of destroying himself. he was ashamed of being related to you.. when are you going to relaized you were nothing but a negative part of your childs life... no one likes kathleen. neither your son or your so called friends... please give up and enter a psychiatric clinic. understand that you are a very sick individual, capable of anything.. stealing money and cars. forging check and what ever else can enter your twisted mind .... you are the one who is sick you and no one else... you made that boy sick... remember when yo lived in Aritrea Africa and you dumped your son there? you left him all alone to fend for himslef... this is when he began to drink and experiment with drugs so he could forget about you... so don't blame the police or the medical team in Seattle because by the time they learned about William it was too late... he was too hopeless... now he lives through his son, a baby you will never be able to see because this was his wish... never to allow YOU to see this child because you are the worst thing to ever happened to your son.


Where is the ACLU now?


Our family and friends are dying in Ely and the other prisons in Nevada. We need help!



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