RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An inmate at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women who claimed the prison provided inadequate medical care died Monday. Margie Ryder, 39, was hospitalized in Richmond for several weeks with a terminal illness and was in the process of suing the prison before she died.
Ryder’s attorneys from the Legal Aid Justice Center first learned about her condition from doctors who were concerned. Shannon Ellis, an attorney with the Legal Aid Justice Center, told 8News that in May the court heard motions on the case.
Ellis said that evidence was presented in court that indicated the prison was not keeping stock of Ryder’s medication, which was critical to her care for her terminal pulmonary arterial hypertension, and sometimes failed to provide the right dosage. This prompted multiple hospital visits for Ryder.
Ryder had filed a Motion for Emergency Enforcement in federal court, which is still pending, calling for changes in the prison’s medical care. In a statement of death, which Ellis provided to 8News, Ryder’s legal team said: “provisions for improved communication with FCCW’s Medical Director and medical personnel remains urgently necessary.”
“It certainly indicates a need for continued and ongoing scrutiny of the prison and the care provided to the women who depend on their care,” Ellis told 8News Wednesday.
Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women has come under fire for poor medical care in the past. Ryder’s death marks the third in the last three months at the prison. Last week, a 27-year-old inmate was found dead in her cell.
“These inmates can’t just go the emergency room,” Ellis continued, “they depend on the prison for healthcare.”
Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.