METRO ATLANTA – In a heart-wrenching tale, a young woman has filed a lawsuit against a county in metro Atlanta after her baby died while she was in jail.
Deshawn Balka, 25, was five and a half months pregnant when things took a turn for the worst. She is alleging inadequate medical care and a slow response to her pleas for help when her son was born prematurely in April.
“I wish and I pray that I would have gotten the care that I requested,” she said in an emotional interview with Atlanta’s WSB-TV. “It’s wrong, all the way around, it’s completely wrong.”
The suit, which has been filed against Clayton County and its sheriff, Kem Kimbrough, alleges it took around three hours for anyone to respond to Balka’s cries when she started experiencing severe cramps. She claims staff at Clayton County jail arrived five to ten minutes after her baby was delivered in the toilet of her cell.
“Had the baby arrived at the hospital just a little while earlier the baby would be here with us today,” said Balka’s attorney Rod Dixon. “I just want to cry every day,” said Balka.
According to the WSB-TV report, Sheriff Kimbrough did not want to comment on the pending litigation, but in April he said Balka received adequate medical care. “My records show that she saw a physician two days before this incident,” he said at the time.
Balka was in Clayton County on a probation violation for marijuana possession. That warrant was later dismissed.
Her family said she shouldn’t have been locked up in the first place because her parole officer had been notified she had to miss an appointment because she was in the hospital.
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