SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Survivors of last year’s San Bernardino attack implored the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Monday to help them get access to needed medications and treatments.
Several of the survivors of the massacre that left 14 people dead and injured 21 others allege that the county’s workers’ compensation policies are preventing them from getting the care they need. The victims are employees of the county’s public health department.
Attack survivor Sally Cardinale says the county’s workers compensation division is denying her refills on critical medications.
“We were in a room where we watched our friends and coworkers murdered,” she told the Board of Supervisors Monday. “We were all afraid for our lives. What I would like to ask all of county leadership is how would you feel if it was your children in that room.”
“I’m begging you for help,” she continued. “We need our medication. We need our surgeries. We need our physical therapy.”
Others who spoke Monday said they are experiencing high levels of anxiety with the coming anniversary of the Dec. 2 attack and that the uncertainty surrounding their medical care is only adding to their worries.
“[The] most disconcerting is seeing my name on the agenda for this week, which for all of us is already really stress-filled,” said Julie Paez, who was shot twice during the attack and lost part of her pelvis. “I’ve been stranded in the hospital for days because there’s no one to authorize an antibiotic.”
Anthony Herald spoke on behalf of his wife Paula, who was also in the room at the Inland Regional Center when shots were fired.
“It is appalling and hard to fathom,” he said. “The doctors you’re sitting down with say, ‘I’m sorry. My hands are tied. I can’t give you anything because the county won’t let me.'”
Some are taking their claims to Sacramento.
Osama Megalla, the husband of one of the survivors, submitted a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown pleading that he intervene on behalf of Megalla’s wife who was shot four times in the attack.
The county has said it has no interest in denying medical treatment to survivors of the massacre.
The county released a statement Monday evening in response to the concerns raised at Monday’s meeting.
“The county will hire a firm whose sole function will be to expedite the process for our employees,” the county said in a statement. “Moving forward, the board will continue to monitor cases to ensure employees are receiving the care and attention they deserve in a timely manner.”