Victoria “Tori” Herr died while in the care of Lebanon County Correctional Facility after she was repeatedly denied medical treatment. The 18-year-old girl was accused of faking her medical emergency by officers at the jail and denied medical treatment for days until she collapsed in her jail cell and was subsequently taken to the local hospital for treatment. The young woman would die just five days later on Easter Sunday from a situation that Tori’s parents say was completely preventable had proper medical care been provided when requested.
The Lebanon Daily News reports that Victoria Herr was arrested after she was found in possession of heroine. The teen had become addicted to the drug and was immediately taken to the Lebanon County Correctional Facility. However, upon arrival at the facility, Tori began complaining of heroine withdrawal symptoms. She was excessively thirsty and was suffering from hallucinations. Inmates in the jail claim that on numerous occasions, Tori asked for Gatorade or something to drink but was denied. When the situation became worse, the girl called her mother, Stephanie Moyer, and said she thought she was dying and that she just needed something to drink.
“I was like, ‘Tori what happened?’ and she said, ‘I don’t know, mom. But I’m seeing people die. I’m going to die. And I said, ‘Tori, you are not going to die, honey, you are just going through withdrawal. And she said, ‘I’m so thirsty. I’m so thirsty. I just want lemonade. They won’t give me lemonade. Can you put money on my account?’ She said, ‘I’ve got to go,’ and I said, ‘Wait! How do I put money on your account?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know, maybe go into the jail. I’ve got to go.’ And that was the end of our conversation. It was the last time I talked to her.”
After the conversation, Stephanie says she went to the jail to put money on the account. She requested to see her daughter but was told that it would be a week before she was allowed visitors. She says she asked how her daughter was doing and was told that she was doing well. However, Stephanie knew that was not the case as the conversation she had with her daughter earlier in the day indicated otherwise. Therefore, the next day, Stephanie called the jail counselor to discuss her daughter but was unable to speak with anyone. The next day she would wake up to find a message from the jail that her daughter had been taken to the hospital and was in critical condition.
Tori had brain swelling and was in a coma. Stephanie says that doctors told her that Tori had been without oxygen for 10 minutes at the jail before an EMT was called and that the girl was suffering from a heroine withdrawal.
“She was in a coma. She had brain swelling. Her brain had swelled. They said they (the prison medical staff) did CPR on her for 33 to 40 minutes until they called 9-1-1. That’s what the doctor told us. So you do the math. Heroin in itself, you don’t die from withdrawal of heroin, but you do die if you are not given liquids and certain things because you are dehydrating, because they vomit and they are going to the bathroom all of the time. So they have to have fluids. Whether or not she got those fluids, I would venture to say no, because she died. Unless there is another reason why she died.”
Now Tori’s family and friends want answers as to why the teen was denied proper medical treatment. A petition has been started by the girl’s family hoping to get some answers. Tori’s parents realize that the young girl is responsible for her own addiction. However, they say that because their daughter was a drug addict does not mean that she did not deserve proper medical care. If Tori had been given proper fluids and medical care while going through the heroine withdrawal she would still be alive today.
The family is now waiting to view surveillance video from the jail in an attempt to discover exactly what happened in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility when 18-year-old Victoria “Tori” Herr requested medical help.
Do you think the jail should be held liable for the teen’s untimely death?
[Image Credit: iPetitions]