Another father shares story of son’s jail death, says Armor Health is responsible

Published: December 22, 2021 3:35 PM EST
Updated: December 22, 2021 4:42 PM EST

More families are sharing stories of their loved ones’ deaths. They believe Armor Health is responsible for these deaths and wants something to be done.

Last month, WINK News introduced you to Paul Carbone. In early November, his son Michael, 30, died at the Lee County Jail. He only spent six days in the jail’s medical ward before dying.

Paul says he died of a bacterial infection that spread to his heart and believes someone should have taken him to the hospital. Now, another father is speaking out.

Roger Macauley says he feels Paul Carbone’s pain. His son died in jail as well, and both fathers say the people in charge of their sons’ health didn’t care.

It has been two years since Timothy Kusma’s wife has felt his embrace. And, it has been two years since Kusma’s father spoke to him.

“We did everything together,” Macauley said. “This whole thing has been devastating, and I want justice.”

Roger Macauley says his son, Timothy Kusma, was arrested in March of 2019 for driving with a suspended license. While he was at the Naples Jail Center, he collapsed then died at the hospital.

Macauley’s lawsuit says that during the two weeks Kusma spent in jail, he begged for Armor Correctional Health doctors and nurses to give him the right insulin to help control his blood sugar. “He was handed diabetes at a young age, and he fought throughout his whole life. Even had a tattoo installed on his back, ‘never give up,'” Macauley said.

But, according to the lawsuit, those doctors and nurses ignored Kusma. They failed to take him to the hospital until it was too late. Kusma ended up dying from diabetes complications. He was only 31-years-old. His father remembers the moment a deputy called to inform him.

“I just completely lost it,” Macauley said. “I’ve been through many deaths. I buried my dad and my mom, but when you bury your son or your child, there is nothing. Nothing can take the place of that nothing because it’s just not supposed to happen that way.”

Macauley, much like Carbone, believes that Armor Health did not care about his son. Armor Health calls that accusation “baseless” and profoundly denies all allegations. In a statement, Armor Health told WINK News their treatment showed it did not cause Kusma’s death.

Macauley didn’t buy it. “They took his human rights away, you know, and they discarded him like a rat. And I’m sorry, what happened was unforgivable, and only God can change that, and hopefully, he will,” said Macauley.

The attorney for Kusma’s family says his death was “extremely preventable” and says none of this should have happened.

Ryan Fogg is Roger’s attorney. “He came into the Naples Jail Center with a completely controlled blood glucose level. It was in the low one hundreds, and there was a progression of his blood glucose level. It was rising to 200 300, 400. It got up to 599, which we believe was actually an inaccurate number because we believe that test that they used actually maxed out at 599,” said Fogg.

Fogg says she has proof that Kusma’s blood sugar rose and that he begged Armor Health staff for help. The insulin they gave him was infective because it wasn’t the one Kusma took at home.

“We know that Tim was telling the health care officials, the medical staff, that he was going to die,” said Fogg. “And, unfortunately, Tim was right.”

Macauley blames Armor Health and its negligence for the death of his son. “The negligence is beyond belief,” he said. “When you don’t give a type one diabetic the medicine, ketoacidosis kicks in. And they can go into a coma and die, and that’s exactly my belief, and there’s nobody going to tell me any different.”

Roger Macauley hopes to meet Paul Carbone because he understands his pain.

Macauley also said his daughter-in-law, Timothy’s wife, tried to bring the correct insulin to the jail, but they wouldn’t accept it.

Now, Carbone says he is considering filing a lawsuit against Armor Health.