At a crossroads

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.

5 thoughts on “At a crossroads

  1. Tim

    Hi Jan,
    I guess I have been hidden away from the news, However I was sad to hear your story. I cannot imagine what I would do if that happen to my partner and I. You had the best team on your side, Lamda Legal helped, my (ex-partner) and I fight to keep custody of his 2 kids and everyone of them were great.
    My partner and I went and filed our living and last wills, and now after hearing this, I am wondering if there should be more that we should do to keep this from happening to us as we are not getting any younger. I just want you to know that you and your kids are in our prayers, and I hope you find peace in knowing you not only put up a fight for yourself but for ALL LGBT. I personally thank you for that.
    Peace and much love to you,
    Tim and Vic

  2. raisedq

    Dear Jan,
    I feel that you have done everything that you can. It’s heartbreaking that after all you’ve been through and your family has been through, that you weren’t able to walk away feeling vindicated.
    Even though it seems to be that you did not win this legal battle, you have inspired many to stand up. Speak out. I personally feel that this is a victory. Exposed the hospital and the law for what it is. Heartless and unyielding.
    I thank you for your honesty and for being all that you can. I am proud of you.
    Take care,

  3. Dear Jan,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. You are a valiant hero, although I’m sure you feel no such way right now.

    I am sharing your story wherever I can in hopes of raising awareness of your struggle, your loss, and your braveness in the face of homophobia and bigotry.

    I admire you, and wish you peace with your children. I have no doubt that Lisa is smiling down upon you, and holding you close in spirit, and PROUD that you fought for what is right.

    I hope that your story will engage others to get on their feet, to fight state-by-state, while continuing unrelenting pressure on the Administration to make Equal Rights equal for ALL.

    God Bless, and Peace ~ Jules

  4. Dear Jan,
    As I read your recent letter my heart ached for you and your children. I only recently became aware of what happened to your partner Lisa and the further mistreatment you and your children received. To lose your loved one suddenly is horrible enough but to then have to go through what you did is beyond belief. Obviously words do not convey the warmth I feel in my heart for you and your family or the outrage I feel towards this injustice from the beginning of your ordeal to the recent ruling.

    I shared your story on my blog and I believe that out of your tragedy and by your bravery in sharing you have touched more lives than you may ever know. I know each decision you have made has entailed weighing many factors and I hope you have support in all areas of your life as you continue to do the best for your children.

    Peace, healing and much hope for your future,

    ~Ms Terr
    Seattle Announcements

  5. Samantha


    Don’t be sorry you tried. Don’t be sorry, you tried. That comma makes a difference in how this sentence reads and I mean it both ways.

    You did the right thing, which as you know is not often the easy thing.


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