following Lisa’s (Pond) sudden death – I felt so isolated and shunned as her partner of 18 years. Our children too. We felt we had done it all right – I have Multiple Sclerosis and before a brain stem procedure we sought out our Estate Attorney to draw up all documents needed should I be unable to speak for myself and we (Lisa and I) did them for her also.
Please understand that by the time Lisa was at Ryder Trauma she was uanble to speak – she was unconscious – and 8 hours later she was in a coma. The last time I saw Lisa’s eyes was on the Rfamily cruise as she was being taken by EMT’s and she lifted the hand that still responded and signed “I love you” to the kids and I. Our medical POA’s said that I could make all medical decisions in the event of her incapacitation. If you doubt the legality of our documents.. go to the filing of the lawsuit and the last pages are Lisa’s actual POA showing the time stamp that Ryder Trauma received it.
Thank you for stopping by our blog – to know what an amazing person Lisa was and what she stood for – please click above and read the eulogies – one by her brother at her Funeral Mass in her hometown, and the second by our close friend here at home in Lacey, WA – for her memorial Mass. Nearly 800 people attended her two celebrations of Life – Lisa was a Saint among us. I only hope I can be a fraction of the person she was.
The kids and I miss her deeply all of the time. And yes I continue to feel like a failure for not kicking down the hospital doors to hold her hand – to think how frightened she must have been, intubated, in pain from the burst aneurysm and through it all – ALONE – no one there to hold her hand. I tried but failed. And no – when her sister showed up – she didn’t need to show a drivers license to prove her relationship. People ask why I didn’t lie and say I was her sister when the kids and I arrived – well simply put we never lied about our relationship for 18yrs and I never imagined the inhumane treatment I was about to face. I figured being a medical social worker would open doors for me because I could speak the same language but when Ryder’s social worker said “anti-gay city and state” to me – I knew it would be difficult – I just didn’t think it would be nearly an 8 hour fight.
Please also know that once there was nothing medically to be done, I was told I could come back by some hospital staff – yet it still didn’t happen – and I don’t know why. As soon as I returned home, I filed a complaint with Jackson Memorial – which was “lost” in their system for 5 months or so. I asked for an apology – even from the hospital rep in the NY times article and after 7 months of complaining and asking for one and it falling on deaf ears – I finally sought legal counsel. And it has been through the amazing support of Lambda Legal that I can begin to process what happened to our family and try to not blame myself every minute of every day for failing lisa. Lambda Legal also made it possible this past March 28th to meet Jerry who was the recipent of Lisa’s heart. That experience was amazingly healing for both Jerry and myself. To know that Lisa is living on – allows me to know that through this senseless tragedy she still helped others which is what Lisa stood for in life.
Finally thank you to Tara Parker-Pope for highlighting our struggle – for showing that even by doing “everything legally right” Lisa died Alone. That is what this is about. That I want to make sure that no family has to endure what we did – and that you are allowed to hold your loved ones hand as they leave this earth.