Brenda Sewell is dead today after police denied her access to her medication while in jail for a minor pot charge. Sewell and Joy Bigg, two sisters returning home to Kansas from a trip to Colorado, were pulled over Monday for speeding when police found a small amount of marijuana in the car. The sisters had legally purchased the marijuana in Colorado earlier in the week.
The officer arrested the sisters and they were taken to jail. Because police could not tell what medications the sisters were taking, Sewell was denied access to her medication for Hepatitis C, fibromyalgia, and a thyroid condition, illnesses for which she had been receiving treatment for over a decade.
While in custody and off her medication, Sewell vomited all day Tuesday, and by Tuesday night was vomiting up blood, according to news affiliate Kansas First News. Sewell was then taken to a local hospital but taken right back to prison an hour later, Goodland, Kansas police said. By Wednesday, Sewell began to foam at the mouth and collapsed on the floor, which is symptomatic of a seizure.
According to the Wichita Eagle, Biggs told her family that she pleaded for jailers to help while she began cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Sewell was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Family members are demanding answers as to why Sewell and her sister were denied access to the phone so that they could make a phone call or arrange for adequate medical care.
The investigation into the cause of death is ongoing.
h/t: Wichita Eagle