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Rikers Island staff overlook comatose Queens man with serious infection and family claims

NEW YORK, USA – A mentally ill inmate whose family says he did not receive adequate care while incarcerated at Rikers Island prison is currently in a medically induced coma due to pneumonia and an infection. After being transferred from North Infirmary Command on June 4, Ronald Jordon, 57, is currently receiving intensive care at Elmhurst Hospital while being kept alive on a ventilator.

His conditions were identified as pneumonia, cellulitis and kidney failure at Elmhurst. Two members of his family told the Daily News they believe he contracted MRSA in prison. MRSA is a type of bacteria that causes life-threatening staph infections. Jordon’s family claims he went from 260 pounds to over 400 during his year at Rikers because he was denied access to physical therapy. “His legs look like elephant’s feet,” said his 65-year-old sister Felicia Jordan-Knight. When he entered, he was not in this state. Doctors declared him to be the sickest patient in the hospital.

Beatrice Jordan, the sister of Michael Jordan’s brother-in-law, said her brother “did not receive the medical or psychological care he needed or physical rehabilitation. They rushed him to the hospital when it looked like he was about to die there. One might reasonably ask why this did not happen sooner. We wouldn’t be here if he received timely and effective medical care.

The Department of Corrections did not respond to our request for comment. A Correctional Health Services representative said she could not comment. According to relatives, they had to contact Felicia at home to find out about Jordon’s status after waiting 48 hours. According to the family, DOC initially tried to prevent them from seeing Ronald, but after Beatrice fussed, DOC finally relented and allowed the visitation to take place.

“We had to wait to get permission to come and see him,” explained Béatrice. I can’t wait to visit my brother-in-law in a few days. So I lost it. I promised our arrival. When I told you to fix it, I meant it. The family says they have received little information from the DOC so far.

Jordon had suffered from mental illness for some time and he found that medication helped him maintain a healthy balance. In the past, he has been hospitalized for cellulitis and experienced other health issues. The doctor diagnosed her with a mental illness,” Felicia explained. “It’s a real mess when he’s out of medicine. When he takes his medicine, he is the most modest and nice person you can meet.

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