An inmate from Livingston Parish has died.  His family say he was denied a necessary medical device

An inmate from Livingston Parish has died. His family say he was denied a necessary medical device

Photos and videos are the things Richard Abshire’s family hold dear. “It shouldn’t have happened; none of that suffering he went through,” said Kaysi Abshire, Richard’s daughter. “My daughter, she was her best friend. She was her best friend,” said Taylor Abshire, who is also Richard’s daughter. Richard Abshire’s daughters look at pictures of him before he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019. Part of his treatment included wearing an Optune device. “He was supposed to wear it 13-18 hours a day. I can say he probably wore it longer than that unless he was sweating or showering. He slept in it, the device never left his head, and he really believed it was keeping him alive,” Kaysi said. Richard Abshire was arrested last July. The sheriff’s department said he was charged with grievous domestic assault with grievous bodily harm. and drug charges. He initially did not have his Optune device when he was arrested. His family say they were eventually able to pass the device on to prison staff, but the family say he never been given to Richard and his brain tumor recurred.”We are seeking justice,” said Andrew Bizer, the attorney representing the family in their civil lawsuit against Livingston Parish.Bizer said Richard’s medical records show that the Optune device was essential iel for his treatment. “Medical records show the prison doctor spoke directly to Mr Abshire’s oncologist and took notes that the Optune device was needed to keep the tumor at bay, and he never had his device. “, said Bizer. According to the lawsuit, the family said they made calls asking if the device was being used. Their records show they were told treatment would not be provided because the staff nurse was pregnant and could not be near the device. They were also told that other staff did not know how to use it. “He had been in pain for months. You could just hear his voice,” Taylor said. Records show Richard fell into jail and was admitted to Tulane Hospital in New Orleans, where he later died on November 28, 2021. His death certificate listed brain cancer as a contributing factor. WDSU Investigates attempted to speak with Livington Parish Sheriff Jason Ard. However, he would not answer any questions directly relating to the case. Chris Moody, the parish attorney, answered some questions about the case and said he denies the allegations made by Richard’s family and promised an aggressive defense. Most recently, he filed a lawsuit to dismiss the lawsuit. WDSU Investigates asked Moody why Abshire had not received the device his doctors felt was necessary. “As I mentioned to you before we started, I cannot comment on the specifics of the case,” Moody said. “I’m here to tell you in general that the medical needs of inmates have been more than adequately met.” Moody confirmed to WDSU that medical staff are present at the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moody would not say whether or not staff are trained to use the Optune device that Richard needed. Nor would he confirm policies regarding specific treatment instructions provided by doctors to inmates. Richard’s family continues to wait for answers. “I felt awful because I felt like if I could have gotten him out. If we could have gotten him out, he would still be here today,” Kaysi said.

Photos and videos are the things Richard Abshire’s family hold dear.

“It shouldn’t have happened; none of that suffering he went through,” said Kaysi Abshire, Richard’s daughter.

“My daughter, she was her best friend. She was her best friend,” said Taylor Abshire, who is also Richard’s daughter.

Richard Abshire’s daughters look at pictures of him before he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019. Part of his treatment included wearing an Optune device.

“He was supposed to wear it 13-18 hours a day. I can say he probably wore it longer than that unless he was sweating or showering. He slept in it, the device never left his head, and he really believed that was keeping him alive,” Kaysi said.

Richard Abshire was arrested last July. The sheriff’s department said he was charged with grievous bodily harm domestic grievous bodily harm and drug charges.

He initially did not have his Optune device when he was arrested. His family say they eventually managed to get the device to prison staff, but the family say it was never given to Richard and his brain tumor recurred.

“We are seeking justice,” said Andrew Bizer, the attorney representing the family in their civil action against Livingston Parish.

Bizer said Richard’s medical records show the Optune device was essential for his treatment.

“Medical records show the prison doctor spoke directly to Mr Abshire’s oncologist and took notes that the Optune device was needed to keep the tumor at bay, and he never had his device. “, said Bizer.

According to the lawsuit, the family said they made calls asking if the device was being used.

Their records show they were told treatment would not be provided because the staff nurse was pregnant and could not be near the device. They were also told that other staff did not know how to use it.

“He had been in pain for months. You could just hear his voice,” Taylor said.

Records show Richard fell into jail and was admitted to Tulane Hospital in New Orleans, where he later died on November 28, 2021.

His death certificate listed brain cancer as a contributing factor.

WDSU Investigates attempted to speak with Livington Parish Sheriff Jason Ard. However, he would not answer any questions directly relating to the case.

Chris Moody, the parish attorney, answered some questions about the case and said he denies the allegations made by Richard’s family and promised an aggressive defense.

Most recently, he filed a lawsuit to dismiss the lawsuit.

WDSU Investigates asked Moody why Abshire had not received the device his doctors felt was necessary.

“As I mentioned to you before we started, I cannot comment on the specifics of the case,” Moody said. “I’m here to tell you in general that the medical needs of inmates have been more than adequately met.”

Moody’s confirmed to WDSU that medical personnel are present at the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Moody’s wouldn’t say whether or not staff are trained to use the Optune device Richard needed. Nor would he confirm policies regarding specific treatment instructions provided by doctors to inmates.

Richard’s family continues to wait for answers.

“I felt awful because I felt like if I could have gotten him out. If we could have gotten him out, he would still be here today,” Kaysi said.

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