Home Energy and Environment Attempt to Provide Medical Care to Bent Mountain Treesitters Blocked

Attempt to Provide Medical Care to Bent Mountain Treesitters Blocked

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From Paige Perriello, with her permission; appalling and unacceptable:

Today I went to Bent Mountain in Roanoke County with my medical colleague Greg Gelburd to try to provide medical care to Red and Terry Minor, tree sitters who are protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline. We had high hopes of being able to give her a basic check up and to assess her physical and mental well being. After all, she has been in a confined treehouse for 30 days, some of which has been without food and water from her support team.

We asked law enforcement on the ground if we could go up to her treehouse to do this – they deferred to other law enforcement who were not present. We later sought out those police officers in the parking lot to ask and they deferred – to their public information officer. Not surprisingly, that person did not answer the phone when we called. We did the best job we could taking a history from her by shouting across the police tape up to her tree, but sadly we were not allowed to cross over to check her face to face. When we asked if we could send medical supplies up to her they wouldn’t even let us send up skin creams and vitamins.

To see this woman putting her life at risk not able to even access a basic physical exam – to be denied this basic medical care – was horrifying. I won’t soon forget Red’s parting words to us “My health is just fine, I just have a broken heart.” Looking out on her pristine mountain and bubbling clear stream, with trees cut down all around her, my heart broke also.

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor, nature and water
Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

  • Laura

    Thank you, Paige. When I visited Bent Mountain last week I witnessed what I guess one generously would call a “wellness visit” by Roanoke Fire and Rescue. They stood at a distance and asked Red if she wanted to come down and if she wanted transport to a hospital. State Police filmed this interaction and then the Fire and Rescue personnel departed.

    As Tuesday’s court hearing looms, DEQ finally announces the public comment period for written technical comment on stream crossings, and the situation gets ever more desperate on Peters Mountain, we all have to do whatever we can. With Mother’s Day coming up, why don’t we all honor Red, every mother who’s been fighting for her family and home along both routes, and Mother Earth–let’s decline presents and dinners and instead contribute that money to organizations directly fighting the ACP and MVP or supporting the peaceful protesters.