SAN ANTONIO – Two south Texas brothers are desperate for answers after they say their mother, who is homeless and schizophrenic, was found severely beaten in the downtown area of San Antonio, not far from Haven for Hope.
Sadly, Carrie Bessey, 61, was declared brain dead and her sons made the decision to take her off life support.
“My mother is a schizophrenic patient in the mental health system, which pretty much failed her and failed to realize she was manic multiple times,” said Matthew Bessey, her son. “She has been arrested multiple times because the system failed her and never gave the proper help she needed.”
After the incident took place, Matthew Bessey said doctors told them their mother suffered from four different brain bleeds, a broken pelvis, and a broken knee.
He said he was devastated when they got the initial call saying his mother was found in front of the doors of the Little Chapel of Miracles off of North Frio Street.
“An SAPD officer said it could have happened from her falling on the ground because they found her seizing out,” Matthew Bessey said, annoyed. “She’s seizing out because her body is going into shock from getting hit from blunt force trauma and having bruises all over her face! Road rash! Her eyebrow was rubbed off! Everything!”
The incident happened on Monday, but because her sons said someone stole her belongings, including her I.D., officials had to fingerprint her to find her next of kin. They got the call Wednesday saying she was in the Intensive Care Unit.
“They gave us the bad news Friday, saying she was brain dead because the connected tissue wasn’t in her brain anymore and she couldn’t regain consciousness or focus,” Matthew Bessey said. “We couldn’t let her live on life support her whole life because that was not right.”
He said he is numb from it all.
“She is gone,” Matthew Bessey said. “We watched my mom pass way Saturday morning. Me and my brother bedside. Watched the life go right out of her. Obviously, I have a guardian angel watching over me but now it is slowly kicking in and realizing she is not here anymore. I can’t call her. I can’t talk to her. I can’t do any of that at all.”
Matthew Bessey said his mother was a loving and compassionate woman, but sadly her schizophrenia got bad two years ago.
“It started getting really bad,” Matthew Bessey said. “She was a patient at Haven for Hope trying to get her life back together to take care of herself. We would take her to the mental hospitals, and they wouldn’t listen to us because she has the power of attorney and she is her own person and they gave them that right back in the day. The system is broken. They say, ‘She has to be showing signs or symptoms of manic episodes.’ Some people know how to play the system. We would watch them get her help for about three or four days and then they would release her and don’t do anything about her metal health illness.”
He said he wishes the mental health system is fixed sooner rather than later.
“They need the proper help,” Matthew Bessey said. “I know people go through this struggle everyday parents, friends or whoever. We need to get serious about this because people don’t truly understand mental health at all. They say, ‘Well, she is not exhibiting signs,’ but she is not taking care of herself or doing the proper things you need to do that an average human would do. No, you don’t know what we have been through in life. I knew what my mother was like. People just don’t understand. You look at the majority of the people who are homeless, they either have a mental health illness or are veterans and they are homeless because the system does not give them the proper help.”
He said they have even tried multiple times to keep their mother housed but she would refuse.
“Then people like my mom are having all of these irrational thoughts when they need the proper help and that takes time and money,” Matthew Bessey said. "We didn’t have thousands of dollars to put her in a mental hospital every single month. It was hard. I feel like if the system truly helped her, she wouldn’t have wandered off and we wouldn’t be in this situation to deal with.
Matthew Bessey said he also demands the police to take his mother’s case seriously despite her being homeless.
“I want Justice,” Matthew Bessey said. “I want SAPD to properly take care of this case because she doesn’t need to be swept under the rug like she was a nobody because she was somebody. She was my mom.”
He said police told them they are still awaiting an autopsy report to determine if his mother’s case is a homicide or not, however, Matthew Bessey strongly believes someone is responsible.
“The trauma surgeon and the doctors that told us everything,” Matthew Bessey said. “He believes that it is blunt force trauma. Injuries like that don’t happen from a fall. Physically, someone has to punch you hard enough in the back of the head and the side of the head to cause that injury. I want justice. Those people are just walking around living their life while my mom is gone. Whoever did this to my mom, I hope you get justice and I hope God unleashes his wrath on you. You take somebody else’s life, you deserve to die to.”
The family is asking anyone with any information that can help get to the bottom of what happened to their mother to call police as soon as possible.