Editor’s note: Joy McCann plans to submit the following statement to Pike County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Gregory Chelak during the June 3 sentencing of her father, John Curwood, who is now in the county correctional facility. It will accompanied by a letter from Curwood’s neurologist confirming that Curwood was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease five years ago. McCann says her father’s lawyer, Robert Bernathy of the Milford law firm Farley & Bernathy LLC, told her he did not know Curwood had Alzheimer’s. Please see related story, “80-year-old prisoner pleads guilty to stalking, threatening, and tire slashing,” at pikecountycourier.com. Also see McCann’s letter “My 80-year-old dad, an Air Force veteran with Alzheimer’s, needs to get out of jail, now.”
Judge Chelak, I am John Curwood’s daughter Joy McCann, his best advocate, and I have three important points to present to the court, on his behalf today. To date my father has been in jail for a period of five months. I would like the court to consider this when taking up his sentencing today.
1. I would ask most respectfully, your Honor, for my father to be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence or probation in a Veteran’s Administration Assisted Living Home where I submitted his application for residency in Lackawanna County.
2. My father turned 80 in late January of this year. He suffers from a long list of medical issues including the following mental illness and diseases:
● Clinical depression
● Alzheimer’s Disease
He was diagnosed in August 2016 with Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Keshin his Neurologist. (Documentation as evidence attached.)
More than 5 years ago, before his January 8 incarceration in the Pike County Correctional Facility (PCCF) for violating the Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders for his wife and stepdaughter, he was prescribed over a dozen daily dosage medications.
He would regularly see his Cardiologist, Neurologist, Internal Medicine Specialist, Psychiatrists and other specialists.
I am submitting two letters to the court from his Neurologist (included below) and Internal Medicine Specialists (online at pikecountycourier.com) as proof of his medical conditions, and both doctors’ recommendations that he be placed in an assisted living care facility.
3. Concerns for his health and safety.
February 5, 2021, my father told me by phone that he was sharing a cell with two men.
He is at high risk for contracting the Coronavirus, due to his medical issues, and at that point he had no vaccine and was no longer in quarantine.
April 2, 2021, I spoke with my father by phone, he told me he was bleeding because he hit his ear on the “heavy angle Iron bedframe,” and someone from the jail took him to St. Luke’s Hospital, a two-hour drive from the PCCF. He takes a blood thinner as part of his medication regimen and the side effects include increased bleeding. (See doctor’s letter for medication list)
On April 15, during his Plea Hearing. there was no mention of his Alzheimer’s Disease, nor of his Dementia and when he was asked if he suffered from Depression, he said “no sir”.
In October 2016, Dad survived two incidents of sudden cardiac arrest on the same day. He was airlifted by helicopter to the hospital. He now lives with high risk of heart failure for which he takes Metoprolol twice a day.
On April 14, he received his first does of the Moderna COVID Vaccine, on May 11 he received the second dose.
Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted by John Curwood’s neurologist, Yevgeniy I. Khesin, MD, of Neurologic Arts Associated, LLC, of Newton, N.J.
To whom it may concern:
Mr. Curwood is a very pleasant 80-year-old right-handed man who has been a patient of mine since June 21, 2016, when he first was referred with complaints of increasing forgetfulness and some cognitive decline. I have followed the patient since. I diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s disease based on PET Amyvid and neuro-cognitive tests, which both came back positive. I started him on Namenda XR in August 2016. Despite intense therapy he has been steadily deteriorating. His illness was complicated by behavioral symptoms with anger control, depression, problems with judgement and impulsivity. I have learned from the family that he got incarcerated in 2021. I’m concerned that this may decompensate his dementia. Most certainly in my opinion the patient needs to be in 24 hour care nursing facility. If you have any further questions please contact my office.
Yevgeniy I. Khesin, MD