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Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Suffering of a Political Prisoner

Some distressing news about a political prisoner in the United States. Former Mississippi state judge Wes Teel, one of three men wrongly convicted in the Paul Minor case, has suffered a heart attack while in federal prison in Atlanta.

I received a note today from Teel's friend, Simone Simone. She said that Teel had a heart attack on the evening of January 1. He had reported to federal prison on December 27.

Teel had triple-bypass surgery and appears to be doing well. Simone reports that Teel's cholesterol and blood-pressure levels were good, causing his doctors to think the heart attack was caused by stress.

Here is Simone's complete report:

Wes Teel had a heart attack the night of January 1st at the prison camp in Atlanta. Even though he arrived there and self-reported on 12/27/07, he had not yet been duly processed and had not undergone the orientation. Kind inmates had loaned him a pillow and other necessities on his first night because he was not given any of his own. He didn't feel well during the evening and started feeling nauseated. Pain developed in his neck and jaw. At first he thought it was his normal TMJ for which he is treated but had not been issued medication due to lack of processing. However, when the pain increased and radiated down his left arm, he reported to the unit clerk who immediately called an ambulance. The paramedics administered sublingual nitro tablets which eased the pain. Subsequently, triple by-pass surgery was performed and he seems to be doing well except for the resulting weakness and post-surgical pain. There is more blockage but plans are not yet clear about the treatment. His doctors stated that his blood pressure is low, and his cholesterol count was only slightly elevated. They believe his heart attack was brought on by stress. His wife was not informed of the heart attack and surgery until today.

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