Sunday, March 13, 2016

Ellis reads Jackley the riot act on death of Brady Folkens

In a surprise to nearly everyone Jonathan Ellis of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader has finally grown a pair and called out the State of South Dakota.
A boy who died while in state custody was likely killed by a reaction to a medication that the state gave him, a finding that contradicts the state’s death investigation, according to a doctor who studied the autopsy. Brady Folkens died in December of 2013 after being flown to Sioux Falls from Custer, where Folkens had been incarcerated at the State Treatment and Rehabilitation Academy. Dawn Van Ballegooyen, Brady’s mother, alleges that the state put him on minocycline, even though Folkens had a bad reaction to the medicine a year earlier. It’s unclear if the report will help Van Ballegooyen in her efforts to bring a lawsuit against the state. [Ellis]
This case stank from the very beginning.

The Division of Criminal Investigation is apparently still reviewing procedures at a Black Hills 'boot camp' after another child died while in the custody of South Dakota 'Corrections.' Brady Folkens of Brookings was 17.
Folkens’ mother, Dawn Van Ballegooyen, said she went to Custer to visit him Saturday and was told he was ill when she arrived. She talked to her son, who said he had been sick for a few days and had thrown up. Medical staff told her he had liver blockage. “He was awake, and he was a little yellow,” she said. “But he was my same Brady.” Corrections spokesman Michael Winder said Folkens said he felt ill beginning Thursday. Shortly after his mother’s visit, Folkens was flown to Sioux Falls. Van Ballegooyen followed in a vehicle, and had her sister meet Brady at the hospital. But by the time she arrived at the hospital in Sioux Falls, her son had died, and staff were working to revive him. [Beth Wischmeyer, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Flown from the Custer Airport to Sioux Falls, about 350 miles: a flight of at least two hours in a state plane?

Brady's mother has been billed for the fateful plane ride and believes the state may have have infected her son with Hepatitis C possibly during a forced hair cutting incident, his immune system weakened from a potent acne medication contraindicated for use with other medicines with which Folkens was being treated.

In a phone interview Ms. Van Ballegooyen told this blog Brady never had a previous acne condition. After being urged to by the Brookings Police Department she signed off on Brady's admission as a child in need of supervision (CHINS) in response to Folkens' experimentation with cannabis. She is distraught with grief and is ready to fight for the truth but has yet been able to find a lawyer who wants to go up against Attorney General Marty Jackley.

She said she has been poring over documents and doing extensive readings on the legal ramifications of criminal neglect leading to wrongful death and the window for an argument before a judge is closing.

Brady's official death certificate shows the 17-year-old died from lymphocytic myocarditis associated with Parvovirus B19: Dawn Van Ballegooyen believes that the state is covering up key evidence.

Why was he not helicoptered to Rapid City about fifteen minutes away for dialysis? Why was Brady admitted to the State Treatment and Rehabilitation (STAR) Academy without any symptoms of Hepatitis C but then was later diagnosed with it?

The state has a history of poor choices made by state employees: fourteen year old Gina Score died after a forced run in 1999. The state settled with Score's family for an undisclosed amount of money without accepting guilt for her death.

This might be as close to an admission of guilt by the State as we'll see without a trial or lawsuit:
Jim Seward, general counsel for Gov. Dennis Daugaard, said the group is tasked with finding ways to divert youth away from commitments at the state's juvenile facilities in Custer, Plankinton and Sioux Falls. If the juvenile justice system were a pool, Seward said, with the shallow end being county probation and monitoring, DOC commitments would represent "the deep end." It's also clear that regardless of the divergent definitions and programs, South Dakota commits more juveniles per capita than almost any other state. More populated parts of the state are more likely to have options for troubled youth beyond a trip to the STAR Academy. Judges, prosecutors and probation officers from smaller areas have told work group members that they'd like to see more ways to avoid commitments. [John Hult, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
This is a good example why PAs or CNPs assigned to medical cases is questionable: as i suspected, whoever diagnosed Hep C profiled Brady as a user and chose to do nothing about it.

Conceding South Dakota's bleak history of incarcerating adolescents and young adults Marty Jackley's School to Prison Pipeline is getting the shaft. The press release from the state on the closing of the so-called STAR Academy is linked here.

Another state camp was closed in November.

DCI investigating itself means a criminal trial will probably never happen even though many associated with this tragedy believe crimes were committed. The best Brady Folkens' family can hope for is a wrongful death lawsuit.


  1. Employees at Custer STAR were informed the other day that they were being let go and the facility was being closed.

    1. Thank you, Tim. That was in the body of the post but apparently not clearly enough. It has been updated.

      Good to have you stop by.

  2. I have a copy of Brady's medical records. Brady did NOT have Hepatits. The doctors in Rapid thought he had a hepatic emboli...a blood clot in the major artery supplying the liver....that was a mis-diagnosis. Brady had myocarditis ....the dying of the heart muscle. Thinking he had a liver blood clot, the Rapid docs gave him a blood of the worst things you can do to someone who has myocarditis.
    The autopsy had a high amount of eosinophils in the heart ....indicative of a TOXIC infection and NOT a viral infection like the state said. That toxin was probably his acne medicine which is known to have a side effect of myocarditis. PLUS....his record are plastered with "NKA"... to the point of rediculousness. So I thought it was a cover...and it was...Brady was allergic to a drug in the same family as the acne medicine he was given in boot camp....and he received a dose of FOUR TIMES the normal maintenance dose.
    This was a cascade of errors....which belong firmly on the State's shoulders. None of the diagnosises was life threatening unless the patient was totally neglected. Obviously he was. You cannot throw a dying patient at a doctor and expect him to figure out what is wrong in 20 minutes. Brady should have been taken to a doctor days before he was.

    1. Eosinophils are a type of disease-fighting white blood cell. This condition most often indicates a parasitic infection, an allergic reaction or cancer. You can have high levels of eosinophils in your blood (blood eosinophilia) or in tissues at the site of an infection or inflammation (tissue eosinophilia).

  3. FYI...."NKA" means No Known Allergies....yet he was allergic to the very drug the boot camp gave was in his medical records from his home town doctor. So they may have altered records when they plastered "NKA" all over his file.

    1. Thank you, Lora. That was extremely informative. Dawn has always known the state was responsible for the misdiagnoses.

      Good to have you visit this humble blog.

  4. 'Corrections' apparatchik, Denny Kaemingk appeared today on Dakota Midday spinning the closing of the boot camp. What a fuck head he is.

  5. good thing they are being closed friend almost died there as well its to sad to think Brady actually did because of the lack of the state itself...Hope his mother gets the justice she deserves!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Chris. On the Argus Leader's 100 Eyes today Jon Ellis said he believes Brady's mom has a solid case but it will no doubt be settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.


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