“Against The Odds” For a Worthy Cause. . .

Date01 May 2022
Published date01 May 2022
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2022, Vol. 38(2) 236 –238
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/10439862221096730
“Against The Odds” For a
Worthy Cause. . .
Antwann Johnson
My name is Antwann Johnson #524659, and I felt compelled to share with you my
personal experience with the COVID-19 pandemic while being incarcerated. To be
perfectly honest with you, what I’ve witnessed through my eyes has changed my life
forever. This is my story.
On October 16, 2020 my day started as any other day. I was preparing to check in
on my patient to begin my daily activities as a DLA (Daily Living Assistant), But all
of that would change when I was approached by the Housing Unit FUM (Functional
Unit Manager) who asked me if I would be willing to live in the Medical TCU Unit for
the purpose of giving assistance to the nurses and medical personnel who cared for
inmates that had contracted COVID-19 and were severely ill and dying.
At first, I was reluctant because this virus was still a mystery to us all. Not long
after that conversation with the FUM, I was confronted with terrible news. I was
informed that my cousin and two of my close friends had tested positive for the
COVID-19 virus. It was at this point that a sense of fear came over me. One of the
biggest reasons that I made the decision to go to the TCU Unit was so that I would be
able to face and confront my greatest fear, which is dying alone. I’ve seen firsthand
how many of the inmate patients don’t have any family or people who care about their
wellbeing. It would be two inmate patients that I grew close to while they were battling
COVID-19 who had a bittersweet ending that would ultimately give me the strength to
continue fighting for this worthy cause.
One of the patients of whom I helped to care for was Stanley, who was 64 years old
and had been diagnosed with both COVID-19 and pneumonia. He was in such bad
shape that the outside hospital sent him back to the facility and said that he would not
make it due to the fact that his lungs were so severely damaged. As he lay in his bed, I
just stared at him and imagined that it were me lying in that bed fighting for my life.
As time went on, we became close and I did all that I could to assist the nurses with
getting Stanley’s health back to where it once was. He thanked us all, because he knew
that his condition was bad and that we were doing our best to keep him alive. He
expressed to me how he didn’t have any family or friends, so I took it upon myself to
care for him as if he were my own family.
1096730CCJXXX10.1177/10439862221096730Journal of Contemporary Criminal JusticeJohnson

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