‘A weight has been lifted’: Family reacts to recommendations coming out of teen’s death inquest – Saskatoon

The family of a teen who overdosed inside his cell says they are pleased there could soon be better medical training and more nurses working at Kilburn Hall.

This week, the inquest into the teen’s death heard that he smuggled crystal meth into the jail. A youth worker described, in harrowing detail, watching a teenager suffer a fatal overdose while begging for an ambulance.

No one called an ambulance until the teen was laying on the floor of his cell, frothing at the mouth.

Ammy Murray, the family’s lawyer, said they are optimistic as the jury recommended better training and more nurses for the facility as well as the creation of an emergency response plan.

She said the family is also relieved because their son’s story is now being told. 

“It’s been very difficult. There’s been a lot of anger, a lot of sadness, there’s been a lot of frustration. But they told me just before we came out here it’s like a weight has been lifted, now everyone knows,” said Murray.  

Other jury suggestions include the installation of more body scanners, to detect if someone is smuggling drugs and better policies and policy training. 

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because of provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, had been arrested on July 25, 2015 for allegedly breaching a community supervision order.

He died of an overdose five days later, on July 30.

Meth overdose symptoms missed, teen suffered

The inquest heard that the teenager had faked an overdose on at least one occasion. (CBC)

In the teen’s case, Murray says, supervisors were instructed to look for signs of an opioid overdose—blue lips, finger tips, slowed breathing — signs that are not present when someone is overdosing from crystal meth. 

“Because he wasn’t experiencing either symptoms of a total heart failure of failure or an opioid overdose, it was determined he was obviously not fine but not in need of immediate medical attention,” she said. 

A youth worker who was with the teen that night, Angela Silva, testified the teen was flailing on the floor, screaming for an ambulance for a least an hour before he died. 

She said she asked her supervisors to call an ambulance at least eight times. She testified she did not go against the orders of her supervisors and call 911 because she could have been fired for insubordination. 

The family had their own recommendations including the distribution of activated charcoal, which can be used to counteract the…

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