Home, Almost Alone

Mark Graham
Haseeb Chishty

Earlier this year, we told the story of Haseeb Chishty, a 34-year-old mentally retarded man who was beaten into a coma by a caregiver at Denton State School six years ago. The story chronicled the efforts of Haseeb’s mother to bring attention to what she describes as systematic and widespread abuse at the state-run facility, which is the largest of its kind in Texas.

Last week, Haseeb came home, bringing to an end one part of the battle his mother has been waging since his attack. Or so it would seem.

For the last couple years, Haseeb’s mother, Farhat Chishty, has been in negotiations with the state to bring her son home. Initially, Chishty hoped the state would provide two caregivers to help her care for Haseeb, who is paralyzed and has no control over his bodily functions. But that’s not what Chishty got.

Towards the end of negotiations, she says the state told her they could provide one caregiver and no more. Realizing that this was her only chance to bring her son home, she says she reluctantly agreed.

“It’s been really hard,” Chishty told me from her Richardson home. “With only one person here I’m up at all hours of the night checking him and changing him. I have to do it every two hours.”

What’s worse, there’s no guarantee that even one caregiver will be provided next year, when the state will review the situation. A caregiver is currently assigned to the home 16 hours every day. “It’s good to have him home and we’re trying to make it work, but it’s hard without the support we need. It’s chaos.” --Jesse Hyde

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