- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 14, 2006

An attorney for a D.C. inmate who recently underwent major cancer surgery said yesterday that he is not seeking an immediate release for his client because jail officials are providing better medical treatment.

The inmate, Houston Quildon, who this summer had sections of his esophagus and stomach removed, attended a hearing in federal court yesterday after defense attorney Harry Tun raised concerns about whether his client was receiving adequate medical care.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan last week contacted D.C. Department of Corrections officials after a recent report in The Washington Times detailed Mr. Quildon’s battle with esophageal cancer while in custody. He is awaiting trial on felony drug charges.

Mr. Quildon, 43, has lost nearly 80 pounds and has had trouble eating, according to court filings and family members. In legal pleadings, Mr. Tun had argued that Mr. Quildon’s incarceration has been “detrimental to his health because the jail does not readily seek medical attention for prisoners.”

However, Mr. Tun yesterday said Mr. Quildon’s medical care has improved in recent weeks.

However, Mr. Tun said he has not ruled out seeking Mr. Quildon’s release if his condition deteriorates or if the cancer returns.

“The city has done everything we asked since last week,” he said. “The issue now is: What happens if the cancer comes back and how we’re going to deal with that?”

Judge Sullivan said he would consider an order for routine tests Mr. Quildon to monitor whether the cancer returns.

Mr. Quildon’s family members yesterday expressed mixed feelings.

“It’s disappointing, we hoped to have him home,” said Darlene Quildon, Mr. Quildon’s wife. “I just hope he truly gets the medical help that they say they’re going to give him.”

In July, surgeons spent more than eight hours at Howard University removing a 5-centimeter section of Mr. Quildon’s esophagus and roughly 5 centimeters of his upper stomach.

Surgeons then raised Mr. Quildon’s stomach into his chest and attached it to the rest of his esophagus. The surgery was paid for by the D.C. Healthcare Alliance, a District-funded health plan.

Guildon’s surgeon, Dr. Wilton O. Nedd, told The Times in a Nov. 27 story that esophageal cancer is difficult to beat and carries an “extremely bad prognosis.” However, Dr. Nedd also said Mr. Quildon’s cancer was caught early.

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