I was raised or maybe it was innate that if I messed up – I fessed up and said I was “sorry”. It comes naturally for me. I know when I have wronged – I say it a lot as a parent when I realize I have been too hard on the kids, or didn’t stop and listen – and those small words – strengthen a relationship not break it down. I did it in my working years – unfortuantely often – I was forced to make life/death decisions about abused/neglected kids on a daily and sometimes minute to minute and always learned from my mistakes.
So I come back to Jackson Memorial in Miami – why won’t they say they are “sorry” for whatever reason they want to give for why they kept us from Lisa? Maybe it’s not because we were gay (thought that is my only thought), was it b/c they didn’t find a room quick enough so we could have access – was it b/c they were lazy? What is it? Underneath it all – maybe my lawsuit didn’t get it correct – maybe there is something more they are hiding – something that is worse than discrimination and hence their REFUSAL to face the children and I for how we were treated. EIGHT hours is a long time to wait, folks. Especially if life saving measures stopped at 3 hours. What is their excuse for the next 5 hours? They have none, they have given none other than in court that they don’t owe visitation time to ANY family.
After the President’s call on 4/15, and the flurry of press and the attempted backlash of the hospital to discredit me by writing to the President – saying they had a lesbian Charge nurse on call the night Lisa was in their care – so what – that makes it worse in my mind – if she saw our POA – she should have made the extra effort to connect with us – shouldn’t she?
I think JMH has more to hide about what ensued from 6:30pm to 11:30pm on 2/18/07. I will never know and why they refuse to apologize. Thank God the current Administration – President Obama and his Chief of Staff – knew we were wronged and has made the attempt to right the wrong. And given my nature, I will continue to bring this up until JMH officially looks us in the eyes, in person and says those simple words “I’m/We are Sorry”.
So many supporters have written to the CEO and the head of the Public Trust – who both lambasted me in a letter to the President – in the attempt to do damage control following the President’s call – to no avail. And the hospital dismisses the complaints, the call for an apology saying it’s in litigation – It’s not folks – I lost in court. The Judge admonished the hospital for their treatment of our family but admitted there was NO law to protect our family. But I am beginning to feel the peace I have so long sought since Lisa’s death – because should JMH or any other hospital do this again once the HHS regulations are in place – they can lose funding. If you are in hospital administration – you are on notice now – you can have a huge amount of out GAY staff but all it takes is one bad egg to ruin it for you – be aware and take complaints seriously which JMH didn’t do with mine. Losing it for months until the first time I spoke out and it hit the papers. Then they magically found it, but never, NEVER resolved it. And JHACO who oversees hospital accreditation gets a D- in my book too – I filed a formal complaint also with them for HIPPA violations among other things and I’m not allowed to know the outcome of their investigation. Our health care system is the opposite of transparent – accreditations standards protect the hospitals – hospitals answer to no one – and worse of all they stand up for staff like Mr. Garnett Frederick at JMH a PhD SW who is not licensed in Florida, is not a member of NASW – so there is no one to oversee his duties but the hospital that has hired him and protected him all these years. Shame on you Mr. Frederick – I have your SW note and know it’s all fabricated from the date and time you signed it. As a Hospital SW myself, trained by an amazing woman – when you sign and date your note – it’s the info you have at that moment – but you tried to make yourself look better – and you failed.
But thank God for LAORA, the organ retrieval agency. How can I go from one minute to having only 5 minutes in the ICU with Lisa and the kids only rarely to un-restricted access – what changed? Nothing other than Compassionate and real humans beings caring for my love, my partner and it wasn’t because she was JUST and organ donor – it’s because they were sensitive to the needs of the grieving family. That includes children, Lisa’s family (siblings and parents) and myself. JMH needs to learn a thing or two from LAORA.
And ultimately, JMH needs to learn to say “i’m sorry”. Though it would be too little way too late – at least I know that their policy changes are in ernest and they take responsibility for our family. One family treated like ours is too many at any hospital. I have given up on you – JMH – but you know how to contact me and the kids if you ever decide to do the compassionate thing and say those simple words – I’m sorry.