Terminally ill prisoner Vicki Letele opens up about 'inhumane' treatment

Terminally ill former prisoner Vicki Letele is using her final days to call for an overhaul of the prison system's culture. 

Ms Letele, who suffers from stomach cancer, was released from prison on compassionate grounds after a groundswell of public support.

"When I got out and saw the amount of support and strangers that were fully behind the movement of having me released, it was heartwarming, heartwarming and heartbreaking," she told Newshub.

Inside prison Ms Letele had no idea how many people were calling for her compassionate release and now she's out, she wants everyone to know what happened behind bars.

"If I ever did lie down, I'd wake up in time to spew," she says. "And the on-call nurse just said, 'Give her a Panadol'."

It was five weeks of near constant vomiting before she was allowed to see a doctor.

They said she had an ear infection and Ms Letele was left pleading with the nurse as her stomach cancer grew.

Ms Letele and her family spent almost two months begging Corrections to take her to hospital. By the time they relented, it was too late.

Ms Letele now wants an apology from Corrections.

"I'd love for them to acknowledge the treatment I received was inhumane, it was wrong, not for any other reason than to make a change," she said.

She hopes that change will mean people behind bars will always receive basic human rights - humanity, dignity and respect.