CW: Abuse, Neglect, & Death:
Yesterday I was scrolling through Twitter. I noticed a tweet from Alice Wong who has SMA. She was forced to lay in her own feces because her caregiver failed to show up. Wong is still recovering from a lengthy hospital stay. Wong was neglected when she was supposed to be cared for. Unfortunately, Wong is far from the only disabled person who has been subject to such treatment.
In some cases, people with disabilities are killed by those who are supposed to care for them. Edwin Tirado, who worked for the O.D. Heck Developmental Center killed Johnathan Carey, who was autistic, in 2007. Tirado smothered Carey after he removed his seat belt during a trip to Crossgates Mall.
Jordan Brooks, a 17-year-old teenager with cerebral palsy from Oswego County, NY, passed away in May 2020. Lisa and Anthony Waldron, Jordan’s mother and stepfather, are accused of neglecting Jordan for years. According to authorities, he died of malnourishment and sepsis. His bones were exposed, and he had sores all over his body. His wheelchair was useless, rusted, urine-stained, and had a moldy seat.
I have Cerebral Palsy, and every one of these stories leaves me heartbroken and furious. Jordan and Johnathan should still be alive. Alice shouldn’t have been forced to lay in feces. There is no excuse for abusing, neglecting, or killing disabled people. Disabled people deserve to live a life free from abuse and neglect. Some of America’s most vulnerable citizens are those with disabilities. We deserve to live the best lives we possibly can.
Benny, Michael. “Accountability in the Death of Jordan Brooks, Oswego County Teen with Cerebral Palsy.” WSTM, WSTM, 29 Mar. 2022, https://cnycentral.com/news/local/accountability-in-the-death-of-jordan-brooks.
Munger , Edward. “Parole Denied for Killer of Jonathan Carey.” The Daily Gazette, The Daily Gazette, 26 May 2012, https://dailygazette.com/2012/05/26/0526_denied/.
Wong, Alice. Year of The Tiger: An Activist’s Life . Vintage Books, a Division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2022.