A heart transplant recipient died in a Florida jail after going days without the medication he needed to survive, People reports.
Dexter Barry had been taking daily medications to prevent rejection of his new heart since his transplant in October 2020, according to a GoFundMe page created by his daughter, Janelle King.
During his time at Jacksonville’s Duval County Jail, Barry, who was arrested last November on a misdemeanor simple assault charge, stressed the importance of taking his medications to jail officials and a judge during his initial court appearance, per The Tributary.
“I just had a heart transplant, and I haven’t taken my medicine all day since I have been locked up, and I take rejection medicines for my heart so my heart won’t reject it, and I’m almost two years out,” Barry said.
According to his family, Barry was never given his medication. He died on November 23, 2022, days after his initial arrest.
“He was held in custody for three days where the police department denied him access to these life-saving medications,” a GoFundMe reads. “He tragically died two days after his release.”
Barry’s death certificate cites cardiac issues as his cause of death, per the GoFundMe. The family believes the circumstances surrounding Barry’s death haven’t been fully revealed.
“We are planning a private autopsy with the hopes of gaining more insight into said ‘heart failure,'” the fundraiser states. “Our ultimate goal is to see any and all parties who are culpable held responsible for their actions.”
The family’s lawyer, Andrew Bonderud, alleged that officials didn’t want to pay for Barry’s required transplant medication, which usually costs $2,400 for a 30-day supply.
“JSO recognized it’s an extremely expensive medication, and how disgusting if it turns out that this was a business decision for the JSO, that they would rather not pay for the medication. They would rather risk death over a business decision. It’s one of the most outrageous cases I’ve ever seen in this city of JSO misconduct,” Bonderud said.
According to reports, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances of Barry’s death and hasn’t publicly commented on the incident.
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