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Woman Denied Cardiac Care in Federal Prison in Texas—Despite Personal Assurance of BOP Medical Director

In September 2023, an elderly prisoner went into cardiac arrest at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Carswell, Texas, after the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Medical Director had assured her sentencing judge that he would personally see to her care yet failed to do so.

“That was my mistake,” Dr. Mark Holbrook told Judge Robin Rosenberg in federal court for the Southern District of Florida.

His admission came during a lengthy status hearing held over September 19 and 21, 2023, in the case of Suzanne Ellen Kaye, 61. Under the online identity of “Angry Patriot Hippie,” she threatened to shoot FBI agents “in the fucking ass” after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. For that she was tried in June 2022 for making threats using interstate communications. When a jury convicted her, she went into cardiac arrest on the courtroom floor. Nevertheless, she was sentenced in April 2023 to 18 months in prison—based upon Holbrook’s now-­broken promise. See: United States v. Kaye, USDC (S.D. Fla.), Case No. 9:21-­cr-­80039.

The Court’s status hearing followed another cardiac event Kaye suffered in September 2023 on the cell floor of fellow prisoner Katherine Moore, who wrote to the judge: “Granny’s eyes were wide open, but you could see that the light was no longer there.”

Medics were able to revive Kaye, who remains at the prison, where she described medical care as “nothing short of torture.” Regarding Holbrook and his promise, Assistant Federal Public Defender Kristy Militello said, “I’m not saying he lied—maybe he meant to and he forgot—but it is inexcusable in my opinion.”

She also pointed to notes made by doctors in Kaye’s medical file indicating that she might be faking her symptoms. Prison Clinical Director Maitee Serrano-­Mercado pushed back against that, calling what Kaye suffered a “pseudo seizure” that induced real symptoms.

The only federal medical prison for women, FMC-­Carswell lost its accreditation during the COVID-­19 pandemic and has yet to regain it.  


Additional source: Palm Beach Post

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