'I was screaming': Inmate pleads for hospital visit, gives birth in jail cell

'I was screaming': Inmate pleads for hospital visit, gives birth in jail cell

DENVER (KDVR/CNN) - An inmate said she was forced to give birth in her jail cell despite her pleas to be taken to a hospital.

Jordan is about a month old. How and where he was born is an emotionally painful subject for his mother Diana Sanchez.

"It's very upsetting because now when my son grows up, I'm going to have to tell him that and it's embarrassing," she said. "I just feel so disappointed, so let down."

Sanchez feels let down by the staff at Denver's county jail which houses a medical wing for pregnant moms.

The Department of Public Safety is refusing to release the video Sanchez said would show how she was ignored for hours after she felt contractions around 5 a.m. on July 31.

"I was screaming," she said. "I was like, 'can you please get the nurse? I'm in a lot of pain.' "

Internal documents written by the deputies on the medical wing show that "Sanchez said her water broke and that she was yelling and she's in excruciating pain."

The documents suggest Sanchez's water broke at 9:43 a.m. but deputies wrote at 10:38 a.m., one nurse "did not seem alarmed and stated, 'isn't she already going out? ' "

"Yes, but that's by scout van and that's after book-ins are completed by the corridor officers," a deputy said.

"Okay," the nurse replied.

At 10:42 a.m. "inmate Sanchez was getting worse with the pain and was now screaming."

At 10:43 a.m. Sanchez yelled, "the baby is coming" and was soon seen "holding her baby with one hand, and it appeared the baby's feet and ankles were just then becoming visible."

By 10:44 a.m. the baby was born.

An ambulance was finally called at 10:45 a.m.

There was no medication for Sanchez and in the chaos the nurses didn't seem to know where to find the clamp for the umbilical cord.

"They put my son at risk. Like at least him, he deserves a chance you know. When I got at the hospital they said I could have bled to death," she said.

"We've created and implemented a new use of force policy, " said Sheriff Patrick Firman of the Denver Sheriffs Department.

Firman had boasted about reforms at the Denver jail.

He said he the sheriff's department was aware of the incident and looking into it.

When asked if he thought inmates deserved timely medical care, Firman said, "I think again it depends on the circumstances. I'm not going to make a judgement call without having all of that information."

Lisa Calderon of the Colorado Latino Forum said she was disturbed.

"As a mother who's had two children I'm appalled," Calderon said.

Calderon used to operate the jail's community re-entry program and said the sheriff's department and the nurses it contracts from Denver Health, failed.

"I would hold the leaders responsible in terms of looking at why this happened in the first place, especially after they told us they fixed many of these problems," Calderon said.

Denver Health is also conducting an investigation since it employs the nurses who multiple deputies said were unconcerned with an inmate in obvious labor.

"Denver Health provides high quality medical care to thousands of inmates every year. Our patients are our number one priority and we make every effort to ensure they receive the proper care," the medical center said in a statement.

"I still have nightmares about it," Sanchez said. "It just breaks my heart how helpless I felt."

The sheriff's department said Sanchez was in custody for charges related to identity theft.

Both the sheriff and Denver Health said their internal investigations won't take long and they hope to release their findings within in the next week or two.

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