- Our Special Person &
Vocation to love
- Marked for
- Saved by the Love of Our
Our Special Person & Vocation to
love (Mildred's Son
& Timothy's Brother)
We have been given a very special person to love. And we believe that Scott has been called by
God to share in the unique vocation of emotional and mental suffering.
God has allowed him to be afflicted with Schizophrenia. He took ill at seventeen years of age
and has been hospitalized for over forty years. The only medication that helped Scott has to be discontinued due
to life threatening side-effects. Today, he is still a very sick
Growing up, Scott was gentle, sensitive, courteous and a loving person. As he grew older,
he became an altar boy, and a honor roll student. It was his gentle courtesy and innocence that made him so
loved by others.
At sixteen, he became sad, shy, and fearful. One day, he came to me and said, "Mom, I want to
talke with you, I think I am going crazy, everyone downtown is talking about me." That was the beginning of
Scott's illness progressed to the point where he could no longer
communicate. We knew then, that he could no
longer stay home; we had to take him to the hospital which was the
state psychiatric institution.
We transferred him by ambulance to the psychiatric ward which
was a short term facility for three montrhs at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Brighton,
From there, we took him to another private psychiatric hospital
named McLean Hosital in Belmont, Massachusetts. Then, six months later to yet, another named New
York Hospital in White Plains.
Scott was treated with dignity and respect
as they tried to help him with different types of medicatrion and
Back then, I was ignorant about mental illness.
I thought that if I advocated for him to have the
right doctor and the right
hospital; and that if we gave him right medication and
treatment, he would be okay. Sadly to say, that was not true.
Scott's illness had progressed and he had
to return to the same state hospital which was primarily custodial
Three weeks later, suffering from
distorted thinking, Scott was seriously injured in
a scuffle over taking
medication. He was transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital, a hospital for
the criminally insane.
Then our 13 year nightmare
Tim & Scott at Bridgewater State Hospital
Scott at Bridgewater State Hospital
For Scott, he lived with his own terror within and lived
terrifeid by his environment. There was no segregation. It was over crowded and critically staffed. Also, the
correctional officers had little if any training in mental illness.
Since the early 1900's the state department of Mental
Health in Massachusetts sent their very sick patients with mental illness to Bridgewater, a correctional
They were treated as criminals even
though they had never committed any crime. They were persons with a disease of mental
illness and were being held hostage by a prison
It was a system that I was up against. Our family was deprived
of showing our love to Scott becuase we could only bring him something twice a year ehich was on his birthday
and at Christmas time; not even a lifesaver could be given on visting day.
And it was humiliating for us when we had to pass through the metal dectectors and to watch
the officers search Scott.
We also knew of correctional
offciers who taunted, teased and assualted patients; we also knew about patient to patient
As in every system, there
were good officers.
My Suffering Son
I saw the suffering Christ today, as plain as he could be.
I saw the suffering Christ today, he was staring back at me.
I saw the suffering Christ today, I saw my suffering son.
I saw the suffering Christ today, for he lives in everyone.
He spoke no words, not even tears But I heard his anguished sigh.
I saw the suffering Christ today And I could not help but cry.
|Mrs. Mildred Duff
Marked for Euthanasia
We were involved in a class action suit with three other
families against the state. And then,
tragedy struck! Five
patients died in his unit under unusual circumstances. One was due to a toxic level of Tylenol.
Negligence played a part in the other deaths. The sons
of the other families involved
were transferred out of Bridgewater. Scott
remained because he was too ill.
So, the suit became Scott Duff et
The most terrifying and most painful heartachewas when
our lawyer told us that: "it was
written on the 'Hard Copy' of a record by a
correctional officer in the unit where Scott was kept in
seclusion for many years "Good
candidate for Euthanasia" This to us was the Ultimate
We sacrificed our privacy and anonymity to fight this injustice and Mildred appeared on Nightline with Ted
Saved by the Love of Our Lady
I received Our Lady of Fatima’s newsletter from the
Archdiocese of Boston that stated: the
International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady
of Fatima, the miraculous image was coming
to their Archdiocese accompanied by Her
escort, Louis Kiszmarick.
It listed the towns where she was going. As I saw the name
Bridgewater, goose bumps went all through me. Why?
I knew she was coming for Scott.
The Pilgrim Virgin's Statue at Bridgewater State
In the parking lot we met Louis; Timothy approached
him as he was getting out of his car. He
placed the statue of the Blessed Virgin in
Timothy's arms and said: "You carry her in Tim". He
then turned to Mildred and said: "You carry
her crown Mrs. Duff." We thought
our hearts would burst with joy as we carried her
At that time, my
holding a camera. I told her, "You will never
get that camera in the hospital." She said
to me, "Tim, they will never see it. Blessed
Mother will blind there eyes."
We both chuckled as we went through the extra sensitive
dectectors, we placed the camera, our car
keys and the metal we had in our possession
in front of the officers. They never
saw the camera which was right in front of
A sign from Our Lady of Fatima
When we processed into Scott's room, he was unable to
communicate and could not tolerate touch. He
had been solitarily confined for many years.
Louis explained who she was and we began to
pray the rosary for him.
Scott never took his eyes off her. He blessed himself and
prayed out loud a decade of the rosary with
us. He held Timothy's hand for the first time
in many years and quietly
said, "I Love
The captain of the guards who took the pictures for us
asked if he could have a copy saying,
"I have just seen a miracle.
I have been with Scott everyday for the past thirteen years.
And he was perfectly well all of the time the Pilgrim Virgin was with him in his room."
After Blessed Mother's Image left, Scott returned to his previous condition.
His class action suit was won and Bills were passed by the Massachusetts Legislature
that would no longer permit non-criminal mental patients to be sent
to Bridgewater State Hospital.
Conditions were improved at Bridgewater. And monies were appropriated to construct a new
Department of Mental Health Facility for the seriously ill mental
patients like Scott.
We received the telephone call that said, "Scott would be transferred on the 13th of the month
after thirteen years."
Back in 1917 Our Lady appeared to three children in the town
of Fatima, Portugal on every thirteenth of the month from the months of May until October. And now we
know she had plans to help us, too!
Scott and Theresa outside
on the grounds of Taunton State
Blessing in Disguise...
I met Tim in 2009
and knew very quickly that "he was the one for me!". Soon after we began dating, he told me about his
family, and, in particular, his brother Scott. I knew it would be important to meet him, and so we
scheduled a visit. I had never in my life visited a facility for persons with mental illness, and, quite
honestly, had never known anyone like this. When we arrived at the hospital and parked the car, I became
very nervous. We were given our visitor badges, and walked a long hallway, climbed a set of stairs and
went up in the elevator to Scott's unit, escorted by one of the mental health workers. How sterile it is
here, I thought. An institution with very little "life" and a lot of sickness. Tim and I waited in
the visitor's room, a small kitchenette. Scott walked in and I was struck by his gentleness and
smile. He walked over to me and all of my nervousness was gone, I was "in love" if you will; this was a
special person for sure! Tim had not told Scott about me, and he wasn't expecting our visit,
but, he walked right over to me and said: "Are you going to be my new sister?" Tim and I looked at
each other and were pretty surprised! Tim responded, "I think so" ! We still laugh about this even
today. I love Scott more than I can say, and I am convinced he has brought me to understand his sufferings
and, ways we can help him, though he can't tell us in words. We visit often, bring milkshakes, soda, and
candy, hold hands, and always pray a Hail Mary with Scott. On a good visit, he will pray
out loud with us. Are we the support he needs? How can we support him more? I
am amazed at the number of people who have no one to visit them....how can the Guild support those who are
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