Mommy, why was Rowan killed?

“The doctors gave Rowan a medicine called anesthesia. Anesthesia usually makes people fall asleep, and then they wake up. But Rowan’s heart was different than ours, and he couldn’t have anesthesia. So the anesthesia made his heart stop working and he died.”
“Why couldn’t Rowan have anesthesia?”
“Because everyone is different. Just like your friend Molly can’t eat nuts. So we have to be careful because if we gave her nuts she might die. Rowan’s heart was built differently than ours, so he couldn’t have anesthesia. We don’t know exactly why. But we do know the doctors weren’t careful and gave it to him anyway, and he died.
You can eat nuts and you can have anesthesia, but everyone is different and there are certain things each person can’t have.”
“Why did they give him (anesthesia)?”
“I don’t know. Because they didn’t pay attention. They should have listened and should have known that he couldn’t have anesthesia without being very careful, but they didn’t.”
“If Rowan’s doctor didn’t make a mistake, would he have died?”


On the piano, September 2014

“We used to play dead,

But not that day..

He won’t be back for the rest of her life..

I am so sad..

If he came back I would smile all the time..


The doctors gave him anesthesia,

If he had listened..

My mom said to me..

But if he came back he would be loud..

And the doctor said NO!

They were really sad that day because the doctor tricked them,

He gave it to him anyway and then he died..

I wish he were here…



October 2014:

When an unknowing substitute teacher explains the word “x-ray” as a picture of your insides, our daughter shows a pretty firm understanding of reality:

the meaning of "x-ray"

the meaning of “x-ray”

the meaning of "x-ray"

the meaning of “x-ray”


October 2014: “The doctors should have listened to you because you were his parents”

And, at the same time, this is how she feels about doctors:


Please, please, you confuse my grieving child when you spread incorrect information.  Our son did not die because he had Williams Syndrome, he was killed because he was given anesthesia.  Please show her empathy and aid in her journey through grief by being honest with yourself and your child.




Copyright © rowansmile 2014. All Rights Reserved. No part of this website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author. (Rowan was killed at Rady Children’s Hospital as a direct result of the carefree and unnecessary use of general anesthesia for a “routine” outpatient diagnostic procedure. We believe that his doctors were grossly negligent because they 1. Openly ignored our repeated concerns for our son’s safety, 2. Lied about their knowledge of and attention to the risk to Rowan’s life, and 3. Ignored our repeated requests for the avoidance of anesthesia) grief, childhood grief, sudden toddler death, US Healthcare, malpractice, California, Fripp, Kaya, Moore, Kaufman, Kearns