It’s five days after my total hip replacement, and Sonoma Valley Hospital is trying to send me back to San Quentin. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough space on the fourth floor for me in the prison hospital. Dr. Brown told me that I would be going to California Health Care Facility (CHCF) in Stockton.
Now I’m thinking, “What in the hell did I get myself into?” Because, I still remember the bad publicity the prison was receiving once it opened in 2014. The news stations reported bed bugs, roaches and rats. They also reported that the prison couldn’t get enough workers to come to Stockton. Plus, other prisoners who came from the prison said they didn’t like being there. However, I had no choice in the matter and, immediately, I called on God to guide me on this journey and allow his will to be done. And yes, his will was done!
Two hours later I arrived at CHCF, and I thought that I was arriving at an airport. The prison is huge, and there are bright lights everywhere. As I was wheeled into a side door I approached the holding cells; little did I know I was at R&R. About 20 minutes later I’m wheeled over to Medical. Now just to remind you, I’m five days removed from a total hip replacement, and I’m in a lot of pain. Once I’m seen and given medication I’m wheeled away to D Facility Building A, cell 119, which is Ad-Seg. I
am so out of it that it didn’t even matter. Two days later I’m wheeled to Building D3B, cell 117.
All the bad publicity CHCF had been receiving was uncalled for and not warranted because my stay at the health care facility was velvet! The entire staff was very professional, caring and compassionate, the prison and the health care system is state of the art. I was treated like a real human being, and the whole time I was there I was called Mr. Hollingsworth. Or Sir. My heart opened up so much while I was at Stockton because what I witnessed was so sad and heartbreaking. At times I had to hold back the tears because the prisoners I made friends with there were dying of cancer, will never walk again, and are in wheelchairs permanently. There are prisoners who are bed-ridden, and what impressed me was that although they were restricted in some kind of way, they continued to smile and even laugh at times. Seeing this changed my life forever! It allowed me to humble myself to the point of feeling grateful and blessed to only be here recovering from a total hip replacement .
The RNs (registered nurses), LVNs (licensed vocational nurses) and the CNAs (certified nurse’s assistants) are at the top of their trade and don’t mind helping or assisting prisoners, whether it’s changing crappy diapers or putting lotion on my feet and then putting on my sock and shoes. Overall, I will grade the health care facility of CHCF an A because not only does the staff deserve it, they earned it.
CHCF is also a very nice and laid-back place to do time. “E” yard is the mainline yard, and it’s huge. There are four dorms and several EOP buildings on this yard, along with a mini canteen. Throughout the entire prison your breakfast, lunch and dinner are brought to you, as well as your canteen. Yes, there is no waiting in line for three to four hours once a month. They also offer PWC, which is permanent work crew, and that’s all cell living on A Facility.
In closing, I would like to personally thank all of the staff in D Facility 3B who helped me along the road to recovery. Dr. Oureshi Paatkintola. RN Delos Santos, RN Tuazon, LVN Talabay. LVN Sulley, CNA Pazitaden, CNA Kaur, and Ma Linda. A special shout out to CNA Musa, CNA Baliola and “wound lady” RN Virtudazo. The three of you were hands-on with me continuously and were very, very professional, and I am the lucky one to have you waiting on me. I am truly grateful and appreciative for all you did. I had a blast and God bless. Last but not least, a shout out to my physical therapist Anne. Thank you for challenging me but at the same time harnessing my physical drive so I wouldn’t overdo it. CO Tellesen and Van Loon, thank you for being so welcoming. To all the prisoners in D38, stay strong and keep the faith.
Eddie Hollingsworth III