OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — *Editor’s note: On Thursday, a judge granted Kenzi Dunn early release letting her out of custody two weeks early due to the distress caused by her miscarriage.*
Her bed was full of blood. Hours earlier, Kenzi Dunn said she watched as she miscarried in the toilet of her cell in the Osceola County Jail. And the bleeding hadn’t stopped.
The 20-year-old said she’d found out she was pregnant with her first child when she was sentenced on Oct. 29 to four months in Osceola County Jail for violation of probation on a trespassing and possession charge. On Dec. 4 when the bleeding started, she was 13 weeks along.
She asked Armor Correctional Health Services Inc. nurses on staff for help, and she said they told her nothing could be done. When the bleeding got worse over the weekend, she said she was given sanitary pads and told doctors aren’t available on weekends.
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“I think I lost my baby the day I started bleeding, but I felt as if they just took me to the hospital, I could’ve had surgery instead of having my baby in a toilet,” Dunn said.
Dunn isn’t the first to complain about lapses of care by Armor Correctional medical staff. Over the past three years, Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray has uncovered multiple complaints and lawsuits against the company, which according to its website, services 10 counties in Florida including Osceola and Brevard.
Flagler County cut ties with the company in February after the inmate medical provider was accused of neglect in the deaths of at least two inmates. Lake County canceled its contract with the company in July after Channel 9 investigative reporter Karla Ray uncovered that an inmate died after vomiting for hours in his cell during drug withdrawal, despite repeated requests for care.
Records show Armor Correctional is blamed for poor health care of inmates in dozens of court records across the country, including in New York, where the attorney general exposed five inmate deaths due to lack of care.
9 Investigates requested information on Dunn’s case from Armor representatives, who said that an internal investigation is underway.
The company also released the following statement:
“The care and well-being of our patients is our highest priority, and we take the patient’s mother’s concerns very seriously. The patient is still under our care and is doing well. We have initiated a comprehensive investigation that is ongoing, so we can’t comment any further until we have all facts and information. We will say that we hold ourselves to a high standard of care and will take any appropriate action pending the results of our internal review.”
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Four days after Dunn started bleeding, she told the nurses that she’d watched as her baby’s fetus went down the toilet.
“I told the nurse everything. I showed him all the blood that I lost and he said, his exact words were, ‘Guess I’ll call the doctor,’” Dunn said.
But no one came. Dunn said it wasn’t until eight hours later when the next shift came in Monday morning that she was taken to the hospital. Records show she was put in wrist restraints and leg irons before being transported in an ambulance.
According Osceola County Jail policy, if a pregnant inmate is cramping or bleeding, Armor staff is to have them see a doctor immediately or call one in.
“I was laying in my bed full of blood and they never came back to check on me,” Dunn said. “They never said anything to me.”
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On Monday, five days after the bleeding started, she was taken to the hospital.
When she was released from the hospital, Dunn said she was placed back in the same cell where she lost her baby. And, she said, an extra day was added to her sentence to make up for the day she spent out of custody in the hospital.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m just, I’m traumatized,” she said. “They put me through so much.”
Dunn’s public defender, Robert Wesley, filed a motion Tuesday to change Dunn’s sentence allowing her early release due to the “extreme distress” she experienced due to the miscarriage.
On Thursday, Dunn appeared in front to the judge stating under oath the details of what she said happened.
“It was torture,” Dunn said.
The motion was approved, allowing Dunn to be released from custody Thursday.
Dunn’s mother, Nicole Anderson, said she was glad the judge had the compassion to release her daughter two weeks early.
As for the workers at the jail she said, “Shame on them.”
“There’s no empathy, no compassion. Nothing,” Anderson said.
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Osceola Corrections Chief Bryan Holt has declined to be interviewed. He released the following statement:
“To protect inmates’ privacy rights under HIPAA, we cannot make any statements concerning an inmate’s personal medical information. The Osceola County Corrections Department works diligently with Armor Correctional Health Services to ensure inmates receive quality medical care that is consistent with industry standards.”