I am not doing a Thankful Thursday post today - for the first time in two years, I am setting aside the list of things for which I am thankful so I can tell you story of Barry Baker. It's a story that must be told...
Barry was a 59 year old man, a man with both intellectual and physical disabilities, but a man making a life for himself.
He lived alone, and like many of us, wasn’t the best housekeeper in the world. He was overweight, and after having two hip surgeries, he also walked with crutches.
But he worked. He had a job he went to each day and every Sunday he went to his favorite bar to relax.
On November 29th of this past year, Barry was at home alone and began experiencing chest pains. He knew what to do – he called 999 (the UK version of 911). The dispatcher immediately sent an ambulance and told Barry she would stay on the phone while he waited for the ambulance. But then Barry collapsed. The dispatcher stayed on the phone and listened – listened to hear the door open and the EMTs to arrive.
What she heard astonished and sickened her. The two EMTs came into Barry’s home, saw his messiness, his disability, and his weight. At that moment, they decided his life was not worth saving. So, they stood there and let him die, deciding to tell everyone that he was dead when they arrived.
The dispatcher heard it all. She immediately turned over the tape of the event to her supervisor. The police were called. The two men were arrested, and charged with “willfully neglecting to perform a duty in public office.” Not murder – neglecting to perform their job.
This story sickens me and scares me. We must share Barry’s story, and I am asking you all to do that. Let’s not let Barry Baker’s story end this way.
Here is a link to the newspaper story.