Thursday, August 31, 2017

Aanning makes statement on death of Brady Folkens

Retired Yankton surgeon and patient advocate Lars Aanning has updated a piece Jonathan Ellis wrote on Brookings teen, Brady Folkens who died after misdiagnosis and treatment he received in a state-operated detention facility.
Negligent medical care, a false autopsy, forged letters from the state licensing board, and an indifferent wall of silence mandated by the state risk managers are only the tip of the iceberg in this young boy's unnecessary death. South Dakota's leadership (the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and their appointees) and their co-conspirators (the Avera leadership in Sioux Falls) have cruelly stiffed the mother of Brady Folkens in her unrelenting struggle to seek closure. Never since the moment Brady unexpectedly died at Avera McKennon Hospital has any one of these enablers ever reached out to Dawn Van Ballygooyen to express sympathy, give condolence, or comfort her for her loss. Their conspiratorial silence and evasion of credibility is simply stunning and, very frankly, basically un-American...[comment, Dr. Lars Aanning]
The issue of medical negligence has yet to be resolved.
The defendants in a lawsuit stemming from the December 2013 death of a boy in state custody at the former State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy received a victory earlier this month when a Seventh Circuit Court judge awarded them a partial summary judgment, dismissing a pair of the claims made in the lawsuit. The suit seeks an unspecified amount, including attorney fees, medical and funeral expenses and punitive damages. [Custer County Chronicle]
This blog has covered the story, too.

The now-shuttered STAR Academy has been offered for sale to the public. Its predecessor Custer State Hospital has a macabre history of its own.


larry kurtz said...

State Senator Stace Nelson has called his experience trying to track down documents in the Folkens case fraught with "BS excuses and obfuscation."

larry kurtz said...

"When Dennis Daugaard suggested the Gear Up investigation be referred to Marty Jackley and the Attorney General's office, I was reminded of the situation we have uncovered and proven in Brady Folkens death while incarcerated at the Star Academy:
◦the cause of death was falsified in his autopsy
◦Two SDBMOE letters "verifying" the cause of death were falsified and placed in Brady's file in Thimsen's office
The first of these falsifications could not have occurred without pressure from Avera McKennon authorities (John Porter is CEO and Matt Michels has been their chief legal counsel) - because physicians are usually honest and straight about determining why a patient died. Without any pressure or urging neither John Porter or Matt Michels would have any reason to force the physicians to falsify Brady Folkens' cause of death. I believe that pressure came from Marty Jackley's office as the legal enforcer for the Department of Corrections and of Health - as well as the legal arm of the SDBMOE...
The second of these falsifications - the two letters - could not have been carried out without someone on the SDBMOE staff being "told" to fabricate these two letters, and without someone placing these letters in the office file of the lawyer (Gary Thimsen) hired to defend the state. William Golden, as assistant AG from Jackley's office to the SDBMOE may be the connection...
I believe the ultimate origin of these two critical falsifications is the Attorney General's office - Marty Jackley - who may have had pressure from the governor himself. Other participants who are obviously aware of these falsifications are the head of Corrections, Denny Kaemingk, and the head of Risk Management, Craig Ambach and his superiors.
To me, the tentacles of Jackley are all over the place in this scenario, and explains why no state authority has reached out to Brady Folkens' mother since the moment he died!
So placing the Gear Up investigation in the hands of Jackley will be met with the same falsification of documents, and the exact same conspiracy of silence and the exact same cover-up mechanisms, as you and I have run into the past three and more years...
We won't give up our fight to right this wrong by the state of South Dakota!..." -- Dawn VanBallegooyen


"We believe two facts stare us in the face: 1) No state official has ever contacted us to contest our conclusions that Brady Folkens' autopsy results were fudged, and that two SDBOE letters in Brady's state file were also fudged; 2) Their stunning and complete silence since 21 December 2013 - almost four years since 13-year old Brady died while incarcerated at the STAR Academy - suggests a stone-cold conscienceless guilt binding them all together in a conspiracy of silent moral turpitude..." -- Lars Aanning.

“I can’t but feel that this is an attempt to curtail my investigative activities.” Lars Aanning in Argus Leader story.