I wrote this letter to family and friends and will now share it with the people who come here to read my blog. All I can say is I’m sorry I did try to make a difference.
Hello Family and friends;
I had a conference call today with the Lambda Legal team that has worked on our lawsuit to hold Jackson Memorial Hospital responsible for the way they treated Lisa, the kids and I. Federal Judge Jordan was very thorough in his opinion and gave the team until 10/16 to appeal to the 11th circuit. As explained to me the 11th circuit of appeals has very restrictive jurists. They are the ones that have upheld the law in florida that gays may NOT adopt. So the chances that Judge Jordan – Federal District Judge would be overturned – appears slim. Then there is the concern, that more bad precedent, being even more restrictive to the LGBT community, could be set by the 11th circuit.
I know many of you are saddened that this was allowed to occur and even in the Judge’s own words – conduct unbecoming of such an esteemed institution (Jackson Memorial).
Please know I went forward with this lawsuit on my own accord, I knew we were wronged in Miami, that Lisa died alone, and that without seeing her I will NEVER know that I made the right decision at that critical time when to stop life saving measures. I will always have to live with the guilt of not being there in her final moments, when she was restrained in the Trauma unit, or hold her hand as she slipped away. I am sorry for any pain I caused anyone by speaking out and bring forth this lawsuit – but my reason remains the same what happened to our family – cannot happen to any other family.
I have worked to explain to the kids that they will not have to worry about testifying now or worry about being asked how it felt that night waiting and waiting to see “other” mom. I have apologized that I was not able to find the justice that I still feel we deserve. Unfortunately, Florida law allows for this type of behavior to be perpetrated on others – and our family fell victims to homophobia.
So with the amazing team at Lambda – Beth Littrell and Don Hayden from the wonderful firm Baker and McKenzie – we have decided not to appeal the court’s ruling. Our family will be unable to seek justice in a court of law for lisa, the kids or myself. All I can say is I’m sorry, I know that Beth and Don and their entire team gave everything – as did I in the hopes to change something so simple as hospital visitation for LGBT families.
As for what the future holds for our family, I don’t know. I do not know how much speaking I will do or will be asked to do. I have an event I already committed to for monday at SU Law School but after that, I have no plans regarding where to go from here.
All I can say is thank you to everyone that has provided the emotional support to our family over theses trying years. I am sorry the outcome on the suit isn’t better that would bring about reasonable change. I will be forever indebted to Lambda Legal, Beth and Don.