Medical examiner suggests that a fall was not the cause of death on DWN UPDATE | Dialysis World Nigeria - DWN
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Medical examiner suggests that a fall was not the cause of death on DWN UPDATE
Date Posted: 01/Feb/2019   Deadline: 01/Feb/2019


Two days after a 22-year-old woman with her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller fell down the steps of a Manhattan subway station, the city’s medical examiner suggested that the woman’s death was not caused by the fall but “appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition.”




 




The chief medical examiner, Dr. Barbara Sampson, did not provide details but said “no significant trauma” was involved in the death of the woman, Malaysia Goodson. She said the cause of Goodson’s death had not yet been determined. Goodson’s daughter Rhylee, who was tucked in the stroller, survived.




 




Malaysia had been healthy all her life, including the past year after the birth of Rhylee, Tamika Goodson, her mother, said. She said she was awaiting word on an autopsy. “I need to know,” she said. “We’re going to find out. If there’s anything, we’re going to find out.”




 




Whatever the circumstances that resulted in Goodson ending up at the bottom of the stairs, her death shaped an anguished dialogue about life in New York City — about how people so rarely offer to lend a hand to those with strollers, about how so many subway stations lack elevators, about how the elevators in stations that have them are so often broken, and about how the limitations of the city’s old and creaking transportation system create obstacles, not just for people with small children but for older passengers and people with disabilities.




 




But more than any other, the idea of stopping and helping someone struggling in the subway echoed through the conversation on social media and on the country’s busiest and biggest public transit system.




 




“Sometimes strangers will offer to help,” said Aurora Nona-Barnes, 35, “but not as often as you think.” Nona-Barnes, who was riding the B train on the Upper West Side, had her 2 1/2-year-old son in a stroller and said she was eight months pregnant with her second child.




 




Ignacio Karacsonyi, who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with his 21-month-old daughter, said it’s unusual for someone to offer help. “I get a lot of props for being a dad carrying around a kid,” he said, “but no help carrying her up stairs, just, ‘Oh that’s so cute.’ When you’re carrying a stroller up stairs it’s not about cute.” He said he’s had a few close calls, nearly slipping as he went up or down subway stairs with a 40-pound stroller and a 10-pound backpack.




 




Outside the station where Goodson died, several people, including some in wheelchairs, left flowers at a makeshift memorial for Goodson. And in Albany, the managing director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the subway, told state lawmakers that the agency would consider making the station accessible. It opened in the 1930s and has escalators that only go in one direction — up. It has no elevator.




 




Online, there were efforts to raise money for Goodson’s family. One page on GoFundMe.com was set up by Goodson’s brother Dieshe to help pay funeral expenses because the family does not have the money. “If you could help me please lay my sister to rest in peace,” he wrote, “it would help me be at peace knowing I did what she would have done for me.”




 




Another campaign on GoFundMe, set up by the day care center where Goodson worked, is raising money for Rhylee’s education.




 




“This has heavied a lot of hearts,” her brother wrote.




 




For many New Yorkers who navigate the subway system every day without realizing how treacherous it can be, the accident was a reminder of how quickly something could go unstoppably wrong.




 




Last year, Andy Byford, the subway chief, proposed a rescue plan for the failing system that included adding enough elevators by 2025 so that no subway rider would be more than two stops from an accessible station.




 




That is an ambitious goal for a system in which only about a quarter of the city’s 472 subway stations are wheelchair accessible, one of the lowest percentages of any major transit system in the world.




 




The rail networks in Boston and Chicago, like New York’s subway, are century-plus old systems. Yet they have more than twice the station accessibility, which means they offer more opportunities for passengers who cannot navigate stairs.




 




About 71 percent of Boston’s subway stations and 69 percent of Chicago’s rail stations have been made accessible. Both cities have concrete plans to reach full accessibility.




 




The transit agency in New York says the ultimate goal is full systemwide accessibility, and it has been conducting a systemwide survey, assessing accessibility in every remaining station that needs it. On Thursday, Veronique Hakim, managing director of the transit agency, told state lawmakers that the agency would consider making the station where Goodson died accessible.




 




Advocates for the disabled said that accessibility helps everyone. “A more sensitive policy recognizes that at some point in everyone’s life, they’re going to need greater measures of accessibility,” said Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director for the Riders Alliance, an advocacy group.




 




That includes parents with strollers as well as people carrying packages or suitcases or people with injuries that temporarily limit their mobility.




 




Another group, Disability Rights Advocates, is involved in three class-action lawsuits against the transit agency that involve accessibility. One challenges the agency’s failure to install elevators in every station. Another focuses on elevator breakdowns and alleges that elevator maintenance problems have the effect of excluding people with disabilities from the subway.




 




At many stations in New York where elevators have been added, the elevators often carry as many parents with strollers as people with disabilities. The transit agency’s “Riding Safely” webpage advises people with strollers to fold them “so that you can carry infants on stairs or escalators.”




 




Diego Perez, 44, said Wednesday that he had noticed how limiting the subway system was, especially for parents — but then he developed a hip problem that forces him to walk with a cane.




 




“It’s just difficult getting up and down the stairs,” he said, standing outside of a station in Astoria, Queens, that does not have an elevator. “And people rush to get in front of you.”




 




Buses may be more accessible, but he said they pose a problem for disabled people, parents or travelers with suitcases. “The buses are packed,” he said, as he leaned on his cane and winced from knee pain.




 




Going into the subway Wednesday, Rosie Navarro, 38, went through her usual routine, lifting her son Rodrigo out of his stroller and hoping that someone would carry it — or him. Sometimes someone offers to assist, sometimes not, she said as Rodrigo began to cry.




 




Navarro said the stations near where she lives in western Queens lack accessibility. The closest accessible station in one direction is at Queens Plaza, two stations from the one in her neighborhood. In the other direction, she said, the closest station was four stops away.




 




Walking to either station with a stroller could take a half-hour, she said.




 




“It’s difficult,” she said. “Without elevators, it’s just difficult".




 



Source: The NYT, DWN AFRICA

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