17 y/o girl who received wrong organs gets a second chance - page 5

DURHAM, N.C. (Feb. 20) - Doctors located an organ donor early Thursday for a 17-year-old girl clinging to life after she received a heart and lungs that didn't match her blood type, a spokeswoman... Read More

  1. by   Love-A-Nurse
    what a sad thing for her to endure.
  2. by   Tweety
    Originally posted by LilgirlRN
    She's dying. I think that all the posts concerning illegal aliens perhaps could be handled better on another thread?
    Why? Is this a holy thread or something? What difference does it make if we discuss issues here or another thread? Is it disrespectful to the dying girl?
  3. by   Furball
    Originally posted by alem-tsahai
    THANK YOU Happywendee and Emily_Mom! I agree 100%

    How did this thread turn into an illegal immigrant bash-fest anyway?

    Alem
    Probably because many of us known of or have personally known American folks driven in to the poor house because of catastrauphic illness...didn't receive "special" treatment. I feel very badly for the young lady too but I can't help but feel some anger at the system.

    Our healthcare boat is a sinking Titanic it's illogical to accept more passengers eh?

    It's a much more complicated issue than folks being "rascist" or insensitive. Personlly, the Mexicans (legal) I've known are hardworking and very family oriented. Good old fashioned American values. But please come legally. Sick children DO come here from other countries via invitation from charitable organisations. (i hear now that Jeesica's bill was paid through a foundation...not tax dollers? Well, that makes me feel better!) There are other avenues than the illegal.
    Last edit by Furball on Feb 22, '03
  4. by   sjoe
    kristy writes: "I don't think anyone deserves to die,"

    Wake up. EVERYONE on this planet gets to die.

    deby writes: "I am betting that since the error was made due to negligence at Duke that the 2nd operation will be funded (if not fully at least partly) by them."

    And just where do you think these Duke funds would come from? [hint: The answer is "mostly taxes."]

    wendy writes: "I dont think the blame game should come into this, yes it was a horrible horrific terrible MISTAKE .... but hauling the MD off to prison is ridiculous, he was operating under the belief that the organs DID infact match..."

    Exactly.
    Last edit by sjoe on Feb 22, '03
  5. by   Furball
    I was thinking about Pappy this morning....an American VETERAN who is relegated to the VA rather than having a chance at the cutting edge of cancer care in Houston. Go to the thread entitled, I think, "checking in...how is everyone doing."

    If anyone deserves "special treatment" it should be our vets.

    here's the link to the thread

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...threadid=31524
    Last edit by Furball on Feb 22, '03
  6. by   bestblondRN
    My cousin sat on the organ transplant list for over 5 years awaiting a liver--she had primary biliary cirrhosis--a genetic disease. She was 100% compliant with her medical regime, but it basically took complete hepatic failure and 2 massive upper GI bleeds that almost killed her to bump her to a Status 1 (in immediate need of an organ). Thankfully, and just in the nick of time, she received a liver. She is now 7 years post-transplant and is doing wonderfully. She has a normal life expectancy and an excellent quality of life--due in part to a good organ, but in greater part to her determination to remain 100% compliant. She and her husband and children are so grateful for her second chance at life, and they never take her good health for granted.

    That said, I believe that many families will do anything to try to preserve life for a family member, especially a child. I believe that Jesica and her family have a right to be here for medical care as long as it is done legally. They aren't sponging off "the system", since they are here under the sponsorship of a charitable organization, and as long as that continues to be the case, I don't think we are in a position to criticize how she got here.

    What I take great issue with, however, are Mack Mahoney's statements to the media, which obviously reflect on his emotional state, that are going to skew the public's perception of medical care in a very negative way:

    "Frush said there was no sure way to tell when the brain damage occurred. But Mahoney said doctors told the family it was due to the time Jesica was connected to life support.

    "Life support ruins kidneys, it ruins brains, it ruins all the organs of the body," he said."

    AND

    "Mahoney, a building contractor who started a charity in Jesica's name, complained that image-conscious doctors hesitated to take the blame for the bungled operation and lost precious time in the hunt for new organs.

    "If she dies, they murdered her," he said."

    Talk about inaccurate and powerful words! It seems to me that Duke and the physicians involved are taking ownership of this error, and are doing what they can to correct it. Unfortunately, it's too much too late. It's a shame that this happened to Jesica and her family, but I don't believe in the public roasting of the doctors who tried to help her and who assumed that things were being done per protocol. If nothing else, I am quite certain that protocol will be scrutinized and revamped, if necessary, and will never be breached again!
  7. by   caroladybelle
    As a matter of interest, many foreign born individuals come to the US for transplants.

    Several Asian countries do not accept the concept of "Brain Death" (Correct me if I am wrong, I believe Japan is/was one). If you cannot certify that someone has died until their heart stops, it makes it almost impossible to arrange a heart, lung or heart and lung transplant d/t the short time that those organs are viable outside a physiologically "living" body - As such , many Japanese were coming here or countries w/more liberal parameters for some transplants. My question is why they do not pressure their own government into permitting the use of "Brain Death " as death so that the transplants can be done in their own country. It seems only fair.

    Why are these charities not funding prenatal care or better health care in the countries themselves, sending kids to college so that the transplants can be done in their own country. Maybe I am a cock eyed optimist, but we spend multimillions in donations / taxes for an immigrants to have major surgery or multiple birthes here. But we won't spend smaller amounts to enable them to do it themselves?

    If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day - if you teach him to fish he eats for life.

    And on the issue of transplants. I can have a 95 y/o eaten up with cancer, septic as heck, w/macular degeneration, renal and respiratory failure .... and the eye bank will still want the eyes "For research Purposes" As If!!!!!!!!!

    While I feel saddened by this girl's plight, there are definitely something seriously wrong with the systems .... and not just ours.
  8. by   mattsmom81
    Originally posted by caroladybelle

    Several Asian countries do not accept the concept of "Brain Death" (Correct me if I am wrong, I believe Japan is/was one). If you cannot certify that someone has died until their heart stops, it makes it almost impossible to arrange a heart, lung or heart and lung transplant d/t the short time that those organs are viable outside a physiologically "living" body - As such , many Japanese were coming here or countries w/more liberal parameters for some transplants. My question is why they do not pressure their own government into permitting the use of "Brain Death " as death so that the transplants can be done in their own country. It seems only fair.

    Why are these charities not funding prenatal care or better health care in the countries themselves, sending kids to college so that the transplants can be done in their own country. Maybe I am a cock eyed optimist, but we spend multimillions in donations / taxes for an immigrants to have major surgery or multiple birthes here. But we won't spend smaller amounts to enable them to do it themselves?

    If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day - if you teach him to fish he eats for life.

    And on the issue of transplants. I can have a 95 y/o eaten up with cancer, septic as heck, w/macular degeneration, renal and respiratory failure .... and the eye bank will still want the eyes "For research Purposes" As If!!!!!!!!!

    While I feel saddened by this girl's plight, there are definitely something seriously wrong with the systems .... and not just ours.

    Excellent comments! I would like to see American charities helping Americans and stop this ridiculous need they seem to have to save the third world. There is PLENTY of work to be done at home...and if this makes me 'racist' so be it...I would like to see us help our own first. We simply enable third world countries to be dependent and avoid responsibility. (We do the same with our welfare system, IMHO)

    There are indeed lots of problems in the system...and those of us who live in border states see only too well the problems. Yes we are sensitive. I see hospitals bankrupted here...a big factor is the treatment of illegals who don't pay a dime, and feel entitled, and come here to hook up with our welfare system. Yes this REALLY IS HAPPENING....I live here and see it.

    Our country won't ever be safe again until we look at our ridiculously lax immigration policies, and our income taxes alone will be 28% and up until we revamp welfare, which was NEVER created to morph into the crutch it is today. These are my own opinions of course and I'm CERTAIN the bleeding hearts will disagree....LOL!

    While I am sad for this girl, brain damage is a risk of CABG and transplant surgery anywhere. The fact the hospital made a mistake will enable this family to become millionaires. And yes, our tax dollars will help fund this.
  9. by   KaroSnowQueen
    Just a thought.............As part of the healthcare system, I understand everyone being aghast at the family spokesperson saying the dr. murdered this little girl and they want him to go to jail, etc, etc, etc.
    HOWEVER...........Have any of you experienced a medical error in your family that caused your loved one to die? I have. A highly respected surgeon took out the entire unaffected lung from a person in my family diagnosed with lung CA. Left in the cancerous one. He died four and a half months later with mets to the brain.
    Yes, he admitted his mistake three days later. Did that save our loved one's life? No. This was before the days of lung transplants, etc. There was nothing to do but go home and die.
    Did we all think and feel that our loved one's death was this doctor's fault? Did we think he murdered him? Hell yes we did and still do.
    This was before I became a nurse. Now as a nurse do I look back and feel bad for the sorrow I'm sure this MD felt? Yes. Does it make think any more positively of him. NO!!!!
    Just giving the other side from someone who's been there.

    And yes, I think it's disrespectful to take a thread about this medical error probably costing this little girl her life and turn it into immigrant bashing.
  10. by   whipping girl in 07
    I have to agree with Mattsmom; brain damage is a risk of the kind of surgery Jessica had and just because some mistakes were made doesn't mean she would have survived anyway.

    We spend so much time saving lives (so we think) that we forget that it's not really in our hands. I lost a patient the other day who came in for a simple outpatient procedure and got the pleasure (not!) of telling the son that was with him in the hospital to call his family, because Dad probably wouldn't make it through the night. I had one of the most stressful shifts of my life, trying to save that man. But in the end, death won and I was reminded that we just can't save everyone.

    But it doesn't mean we shouldn't try.

    I feel for the family and for the transplant team. I can't imagine the guilt the doctors and nurses feel that they made a mistake that may have contributed to Jessica's death.

    On another note, our hospital policy is that we call the organ procurement agency on any patient with a GCS of 5 or less, any impending brain death, and all deaths in general. We are not allowed to even "feel out" the family about organ donation before the call is made, and we can't ask them not to approach the family if the family has already said they don't want to donate their loved one's organs. The nurse will come, review the chart, and approach the family, even if the neurosurgeon has not even uttered the words "brain death." Our neuros are getting fed up with this and I can understand why. Sometimes I think the OPA sees the neuros as someone to drum up business and would like to see them either "speed along" the impending brain death or even not do everything possible to save the patient. JMHO.
  11. by   CountrifiedRN
    I haven't really been able to catch a whole news story on this little girl, I always seem to catch it halfway thru. I'm wondering who exactly this Mahoney is?

    It seems like every picture I see has him in it, and he is always the one speaking to the media. Once I heard him refer to Jesica as "our baby", saying 'our baby has suffered for three years'.... At the time I thought he was a member of the family, but then heard he is a family friend? I guess it just seems odd that he is SO involved, and I hardly ever see the mother.

    Just wondering if someone can fill me in. It seems like a strange situation.
  12. by   Sally_ICURN
    Originally posted by RN2bNC

    Just wondering if someone can fill me in.
    He's the family's spokesperson, and a fundraiser for disadvantaged children.

    http://www.4jhc.org/jesicastory.html
  13. by   emily_mom
    Originally posted by sjoe
    kristy writes: "I don't think anyone deserves to die,"

    Wake up. EVERYONE on this planet gets to die.
    You totally took that out of context. The point I am trying to make is that NO child DESERVES to die b/c she isn't from America or because of errors made.

    I just think that if this were your child, you would go to the ends of the earth to help her and not say, "I'm sorry. I know you need a new heart and lungs, but we're from Mexico and therefore not entitled to quality healthcare."


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