From the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition (NYC):
Sisters and brothers, all of you who have shown such concern and love for Mumia:
I saw Mumia yesterday (Monday) in the visiting room at Mahanoy for a little over an hour. He wheeled himself in in a manually controlled wheel chair. This was not easy for him. I then wheeled him to the front desk and where we sat. He looked better than he did in those widely disseminated photos taken a week ago and, similarly, seemed a little better than Wadiya’s description when she saw him on Thursday. As I noted in an intro to Wadiya’s report, the different descriptions may reflect some differences in the eyes of the beholders, but mostly I think reflect the fluctuations in the diabetic condition he is suffering from.
To clarify some differences in reports. Mumia repeated that he had lost over 80 pounds. This enormous weight loss in such a short period of time causes him pain when he sits, apparently especially in the wheel chair. I suggested a pillow, which obviously should have been provided with the wheel chair, and he said he would get one. His skin continued to look motley, multi-colored, and very flaky. It felt dry. He said it did not hurt but itched badly, and he has to cover his body with the anti-itching cream he uses repeatedly, as he did before coming out for his visit. He is still shaking. Perhaps one of the doctors we are consulting can explain what the shaking is from. His speech was clear and not at all slurred. He says he does not have pneumonia, one of the conditions that has been referred to several times, and that his lungs are clear. The confusion was that one technician confused the scar from his gunshot wound obtained at the time of his original arrest and incarceration in 1981 with possible lung damage from pneumonia. His diet has changed significantly: he is getting a lot of fruit and vegetables and his calorie intake is being monitored. It was just increased to 2500 calories a day. This diet improvement was certainly one of the victories of our campaign, as we expressed outrage at the diet he was being given (pasta for dinner and cake along with oatmeal for breakfast) following a blood sugar level that was so dangerously close to diabetic coma. The authorities must have been embarrassed by being caught in their wanton neglect of Mumia’s needs, whether coming from malpractice or malevolence.
Mumia was very alert and deep, as usual filled with extensive historical knowledge, as we discussed some of the same kinds of political issues we generally discuss when I visit. He was occasionally even humorous. His spirit and intellect remain unquestionably Mumia. But he is concerned about some loss in his ability to retrieve words, aphasia like symptoms, and he sometimes experiences fugue states. He apparently did not experience any of these symptoms while I was there. Very notable to me was the trauma all this has imposed on Mumia, major, major, major physical and emotional trauma. He feels the steroids given him for his initial skin problem brought on the diabetes, and now the life threatening diabetic picture, not to mention the pain, the itching, the shaking, and the memory issues he described. ALL DONE TO HIM, IMPOSED ON HIM.
Mumia is deeply grateful to the movement for its love and has great faith in its power. When I asked if he had any suggestions for what we should be doing, he said “Keep doing what you’re doing.” So let’s keep those calls, emails, faxes and educational meetings going.
Below is Noelle Hanrahan’s summary of what the doctors in the case say they will need. Please request these when you write or call the individuals listed at the end.
1) Mumia’s chosen private physician has immediate regular phone access to Mumia in the infirmary. Phone access is limited in the infirmary, and Mumia and his physician need to be in conversation throughout each week.
2) His doctor be allowed to communicate freely and regularly with the prison infirmary physicians who are currently overseeing Mumia’s care.
3) The PA Department of Corrections (DOC) allow Mumia’s doctor to schedule an immediate Independent Medical Examination in an examination room with a table and medical instruments.
4) The PA DOC develop a diagnostic and treatment plan adequate to understand any underlying conditions that have contributed to his current ongoing crisis, and that consultation with appropriate specialists be arranged in a timely fashion and be used to assist in this effort.
We need a mass mobilization of calls and letters to:
Tom Wolf, PA Governor
508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg PA 17120
John Wetzel, PA Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Pkwy, Mechanicsburg PA 17050
John Kerestes, Superintendent-Â SCI Mahanoy