INQUIRER: Kallenbach’s mother said the staff at the privately run Delaware County prison — which in 2005 was the subject of at least two inquiries into the deaths of five inmates in as many months — failed to properly treat Kallenbach’s cystic fibrosis, a congenital disease that affects the lungs and other vital organs and can lead to chronic infections and premature death.
“If he had been home and gotten all of his medications, all these things he needed, he would be alive today,” the retired telephone operator for Verizon said in a phone interview. She said her son had called her from the prison about a week ago “and he told me, ‘Mom, you’ve got to get me out of here or I don’t think I’m going to make it.'”
Pablo Paez, a spokesman for The GEO Group Inc., the Boca Raton-based company that runs the prison, would only provide information on when Kallenbach was first incarcerated on March 27 and when he was transferred to Riddle. Told of Fay Kallenbach’s accusations that the prison had not properly addressed her son’s medical needs, Paez said: “I can’t discuss his specific medical file or treatment.”
Last year, the family of a 38-year-old mentally ill Aston woman filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia alleging her death resulted in part from the prison’s failure to give her medication for a thyroid condition. Cassandra “Sandy” Morgan died in Riddle Memorial Hospital on March 29, 2006, four days after lapsing into a coma at the prison, where she had been held for six weeks on shoplifting charges. Her death resulted from complications caused by hypothyroidism.
When Fay Kallenbach saw her son late Wednesday afternoon at Riddle, she said he was hooked up to a ventilator and a feeding tube and virtually unresponsive. “He just barely got his strength up to reach under the covers and take my hand,” she said, her voice breaking. She got the call the following morning from the prison doctor saying her son had died, Kallenbach said. MORE
RELATED: Docket # CP-23-CR-0002636-2008