I have several posts on this website but haven't been here for awhile. On December 23, 2009 I lost my oldest son. The official cause of death was acute pneumonia complicated by two prescription drugs he had in his system that interfered with his respirations which were already a mess because he was so sick. he did not live in the same town we, his parents, live in, so we got the dreaded phone call. He was 35 years old.
There were mistakes made by the EMS people in that when they intubated him, somehow during the whole scenario he was intubated incorrectly and the tube was put into his esophagus instead of his trachea and basically smothered him to death. He went into cardiac arrest 4 minutes after the tube was put in. It was discovered immediately (within two minutes) after EMS got him to the hospital. The ER doctor discovered it immediately, removed the tube and replaced it correctly but it was too late. he was pronounced dead 20 minutes later.
We cannot get an attorney to represent us. My son was bipolar and had lots of problems. He became ill in college. Before that he was a model straight A student, went to a high school for gifted kids his junior and senior years and had a full paid four year scholarship to college. After he got sick, as many folks with bipolar disease do, they won't let you help them. We even tried to get court ordered help through the court system but it was a joke.
According to the attorneys we have talked to and there have been many, there are no "economic damages" because he didn't work that much and all kinds of other legal mumbo jumbo. Its not that we don't have a case, its that it would cost so much to prosecute it no one wants to take it because they don't think they can win. The defense would tear it apart.
I almost forgot, they had a machine called a capnography machine on board the ambulance that tells whether a person is intubated correctly and they could not use that because the batteries in the machine were dead! That is my biggest problem here with all of this.
I have spoken several times with the head of the ambulance company, the medical director and several other folks. All I get out of them is that they have spent over 500K replacing all the equipment on every truck so they don't have these certain machines anymore. They tell me the paramedics that intubated him had years of experience, were Veterans of the Iraqui war, etc, etc. That doesn't bring my son back though does it. They keep "skirting" around the issue of that machine not being in working order.
For awhile they had said they were coming down to talk to my husband and I in person but that has changed now. Now they want to set up a meeting via "web cam" and "Skype" which I think is a disgrace and an insult. I think they should face us personally.
The last I heard yesterday the medical director told me that they had had numerous problems with these particular machines. I think he is trying to make it sound like equipment problems so we will sue the maker of the equipment. It's like my son's life met nothing to them because he was not working. He was too sick to work. He was being treated, etc. But basically they are saying your life is worth nothing if you aren't loaded with money (the lawyers). I am so angry I just want to run and scream
I have considered suicide but what would that do to my husband and youngest son? On top of that, when all this happened, we were absolutely shunned by our church. No one came around, brought food, nothing. This is not the church we started going to 17 years ago. I remember on Christmas Day standing in the kitchen trying to get something together to eat and thinking this is not right, there should be people here. My family (sister, nieces, nephews, etc) were gone and wound up in a snow storm and could not get here. We have as yet not had a memorial service for him. It was such a mess that we couldn't do it at the time. We had to get him back here from Pennsylvania. There was no insurance so we had ot have him cremated in PA and sent home. We did buy a plot and bury him and put up a stone but just havne't had the memorial yet. We are thinking about nexst month but I just don't know if I can do it.
My husband and I are at a loss and just walk in a fog. He is working which helps him but I am not working anymore. I just want to die. If I only had someone to at least help me go through all the paper work and get it in order (there are boxes and boxes) and clean out the room with all his stuff I think I could make it. My husband will do it, but I feel like both of us doing it together is just too hard. I need someone that is removed from the situation.
I don't know what to do and this is never going to end. Obviously I dread Thanksgiving and Christmas especially and every other holiday. I have already been through most of them including his birthday. He died onDecember 23, autopsy on Christmas Eve and the funeral director in PA said we HAD to cremate on Christmas Day and couldn't wait which I found out later was a lie. So for the rest of my life I have to remember this. I just turned 55 years old and I feel like I am 85 right now... Thanks for letting me vent.