Former Cobb County inmate died despite pleas for medical care

Donna Sanders was no angel. But did she deserve to die the way she did?

In the Cobb County jail, Sanders was hospitalized seven times as she tried to explain to the doctor in charge that she needed four dialysis treatments a week, not the three allowed by the county.

When facing prison time for violating the terms of her probation, she told the judge in the plainest of terms that she was dying. She was sentenced to prison anyway.

Then, as she predicted, she didn’t last long.

On her second day at Pulaski State Prison, the Moultrie woman was placed in the infirmary for observation even as her blood oxygen level dropped dangerously low. By the time an ambulance was summoned, it was too late. An hour later, she was dead.

In her final letter to her daughter, written just hours before she died, Sanders spoke of a conversation with parole board officials and how they assured her that she might soon be released.

“They don’t understand why they bother sending me to prison,” she wrote. “I say the same thing.”

At myAJC.com, read the AJC’s investigation of how this seriously ill woman’s life ended as well as the newspaper’s stories on other deaths at Pulaski and the doctor in charge of those inmates’ care.

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