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My life changed forever on 5th November 2008 when my baby son Joshua died. Joshua was born just 9 days earlier – a perfect beautiful baby boy.  Shortly after his birth, my wife collapsed with sepsis and was quickly given fluids and antibiotics. Over the next few hours, my wife recovered. We were both concerned for Joshua, but when we asked the midwives whether he might be at any risk,...
In the fall of 2013, my husband Dave Bunoski and I were spending the weekend at our cottage on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We had purchased the weekend home six months prior and we were in love with our little slice of the pie. We’d attended a large oyster festival with out of town friends on Saturday. We were excited to share our home with friends that weekend, it was a...
I’m Jess, and this is my story. That’s me with the long blonde hair when I was about 12. Around that time I started passing out, especially if something scared me, like if one of my cats jumped up on my bed when I was sleeping or if Mom ran a blender early in the morning. First I’d get really dizzy and then I’d just faint. Mom said it was...
Holly Patterson died three weeks after her 18th birthday.  Healthy and beautiful, this young native of the San Francisco bay area had her whole life in front of her. Her story begins in 2003 when she entered a clinic with her boyfriend to terminate her seven-week-old pregnancy with the two-drug medical abortion regimen of mifepristone (commonly known as the Abortion Pill or RU-486) and misoprostol. (In 2000, the FDA approved...
My wife and I met in 2001 and five years later were married in a dream ceremony at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy. A year later, we were pregnant with our first child and on May 25, 2008 – a day after my wife’s birthday – our daughter entered the world, albeit six weeks early. My wife was diagnosed as gestational diabetic during the pregnancy and unfortunately, following the delivery,...
My 65-year-old father, Curtis James J Bentley, underwent successful surgery to place a stent in his heart. He was discharged from the hospital and I was told that he was “100% clear.” While recuperating at home, however, he started bleeding. He was coughing up blood, having nose bleeds and blood was present in his stool and in the toilet. I took him to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed...
My name is Candice Sanders. I am a 36 years old single mother to my 3-year-old daughter. During my C-section with my daughter, I contracted MRSA (Narcotizing Fascitiis), Cellulitis, and my blood was gram-negative. I had to undergo 7 surgeries and 9 blood transfusions and I was separated from my newborn for a month; while in a California hospital. I had 2 surgeries in Las Vegas and because the infection...
May 1, 2012 was the start of a week which would forever change our lives. Gabby was a vivacious, funny, and smart five-year-old girl who loved cupcakes, animals, and spending time with her family. She had the sense of humor of an adult, and was the most kind, caring, and loving child. Gabby was so happy to love and to be loved. She adored her pet Chihuahua Bella, and enjoyed...
After trying so hard to get pregnant with our first child we were surprised to find ourselves pregnant with our second child so soon.  We joke that Grant Lars Visscher was in such a hurry to get here that he didn’t allow his body to fully develop and that is why he was born with a heart defect. I was 18 weeks pregnant with Grant when we got the news...
We had a complicated delivery with our first son, Oliver. It started as a home birth and resulted in an emergency C-section in hospital. One year later, when we got pregnant with our second son, Benjamin, we were surprised that, despite our traumatic birth history, the recommended plan was VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). The UK maternity approach follows a midwifery model for low risk women and, since we had...
The last normal day of Michael’s life began like any other. He was sitting on the couch playing with the family’s new puppy. Suddenly, he inexplicably passed out. When Michael regained consciousness, the 22-year-old EMT and nursing student knew he had to get to the emergency room right away. At the time, a doctor suggested that Michael had probably had a seizure, a side effect of Wellbutrin, an antidepressant he...
After 3 months of extensive medical treatment for a devastating illness it is heartbreaking to realize that my husband contracted a serious debilitating illness while in the hospital that is designed to protect and offer treatment for the specific illness he was diagnosed with. On Nov 17, 2017 my husband Jim entered the hospital for flu like symptoms. On Dec 1 he was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia and was transferred...
Looking back, my story began in June of 2013. I was enrolled in summer school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and visited five different healthcare providers in three days seeking assistance for swelling in my throat and face, and difficulty breathing. The first four providers diagnosed strep throat. The fifth visit to the emergency room revealed my true diagnosis to be Ludwig’s Angina, a deep neck...
Yogiraj Charles Bates died from a hospital acquired venous thromboembolism (HA-VTE), the most common cause of hospital-related death in the United States. He was and continues to be revered for his extraordinary mind and loving nature by people around the world. His contributions as an author, entrepreneur, father, sage, master trainer and an unrelenting advocate for the human spirit will have a positive influence for many generations to come. Yogiraj’s...
Ten years ago, a young California political leader entered a Los Angeles hospital for gall bladder removal and bariatric surgery and died three days later with no cause given for his death. Lloyd Monserratt was a 36 year-old man who believed in community empowerment and social change. He was a Latino vote director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), director of constituency services at NALEO, and a chief of...
One day I woke up with a pain in my stomach. At first I thought I had the stomach flu or ate something bad, but as the day went on the pain got worse and it became apparent it might be appendicitis. I took an Uber to the ER in the middle of the night; they did a CT scan and ultrasound, rule out appendicitis, and decided a cyst must...
On July 10, 1996, we took our precious 11-year old son to the Children’s Hospital for what was to be a routine inguinal hernia surgery.  Daniel was no stranger to Children’s, having undergone three open heart surgeries there over the course of his short life.   Those surgeries went textbook; however, this one would prove to be our worst nightmare. During surgery, the attending anesthesiologist made not one, but several mistakes,...
This is a picture of Richie’s last birthday. He told us it was his Golden Birthday because he turned 27 on the 27th (of January).  He said his life would have good things ahead. Richie was well educated, graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in English and Journalism. He was funny, with a quick wit and always a smile. He was a loyal and loved...
My name is Maureen Robbins and I have a serious and disconcerting medical experience to share with you. It is an unsettling story of the tragic and untimely loss of my 84-year-old father, Joseph Karbelk, who was denied his rights as a patient, inappropriately restrained and incorrectly treated with chemical sedation in an emergency room and then, because of these events, failed to recover. A mere six weeks passed from...
At the time, I was working in the information services department at our local hospital. I was still at work when one of Drew’s older brothers called to tell me Drew had an accident on his skateboard. Drew grew up skateboarding around the neighborhood with his friends. They would go from house to house and skateboarding was how they got around. This night Drew lost control coming down a hill and fell backwards striking his head on...
My name is Brenda Ludens. I have been employed as a Respiratory Therapist for 23 years at a hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. My Mother, Norma Reiners, was a resident of a rehab unit in Sioux Falls from Aug. 27 to Oct. 13, 2014. At that point she was just four days from a scheduled return to her home following rehabilitation for a broken ankle. My mother celebrated her 85th...
It was a day in March when my mom, Kathy, casually mentioned to me that she had been having bloody urine for the past few weeks. I asked her if she had notified her physician and she casually stated, “No, I will just watch it.” After much discussion, I convinced her to call her doctor and make an appointment to discuss the issue. The appointment was made for the following...
“An underlying medical condition” is no excuse for lethal medical errors. Millie Niss was a much-published web artist and poet. She was my only child and a wonderful daughter. She was a talented patient advocate due to a lifetime of painful and debilitating illness, diagnosed as Behcet’s Disease in her early 30s. Behcet’s is a rare, auto-immune, inflammatory disease which causes vasculitis anywhere in the body. It is often characterized by severe...
My son Parker was very aware of others and how to help them. He often got teased himself because of his height, large 16 size feet and his big smile.  He would walk with the kids that he had noticed being bullied down the halls of his high school to help them feel safe. Parker had grown up with 3 older brothers and 4 younger siblings and was not afraid...
In 2012, Anna’s world turned upside down when she was diagnosed with bone marrow failure (myelodysplastic syndrome). This disease stemmed from her previous treatment for breast cancer; she was treated fifteen years earlier. At the time of her bone marrow failure diagnosis, everything else in her life seemed to be going well. She was a (single) mom to a high school aged son, whom she adored. She loved her job,...
This is not a motivating story nor is it a pretty one! However, it is a story that brings about awareness to a deadly and oftentimes fatal life threatening illness! It is the reason behind the “WHY” I do what I do! It is because of sepsis I’m so passionate about my health and that of others. Over the last 10 years, sepsis has reared its ugly head twice in...
Michael was diagnosed with the incurable bowel condition known as Crohn’s Disease as a 12-year-old. Having had over 25 surgeries Michael was left with 40cm of small bowel and intestinal failure. He remained in hospital for 18 months receiving all his food and drink via an intravenous feed known as total parenteral nutrition. Faced with no other alternative on October 8th, 2011 Michael became the 11th patient in the United Kingdom...
On an icy February day, a young man suffered a severe brain injury in a motorcycle accident. One of his healthy lungs was gifted to my dad, who was near death from pulmonary fibrosis. Dad’s nine-hour surgery at “Super Star” medical center, the #1 transplant unit in the world, went so well his doctors predicted he’d be out on the golf course by the 4th of July. A dozen preventable hospital acquired...