Sixteen months after our son was killed, I was faced with writing an objective and concise summary of our son’s death.  The additional anguish that I faced in writing this document, just to have our case considered, is yet another sign of a very broken system.  Our report to the CA Medical Board, and the FIVE page version of this entire website (including the 2004 protocol for the use of anesthesia in patients with Williams Syndrome):

For medical boardv2

“Uncooperative?” Rowan receiving an exam October 2013

Update October 2017:

The CA Medical Board dismissed the case against the anesthesiologist because they did not find a departure from the standard of practice of medicine (Feb 2016).  They stated that the Board must be able to confirm that the physician’s conduct deviated from the standard of medical practice in order to establish a violation of the Medical Practice Act.

The CA Medical Board found substantive reason to forward the case against the cardiologist to the Department of Consumer Affairs, Health Quality Investigation Unit’s San Diego Field Office, for further investigation.  Upon completion of this investigation, his case was moved forward to the Attorney General’s office.

Nearly four years later, I still await their findings.

But.. some good news.. I recently received a message from an old friend whose child recently underwent anesthesic procedures at Rady’s:

“It has been a very intense month, with a large amount of time spent at Rady’s.  I thought of you often… It might bring you some small amount of comfort to know Rowan’s wrongful death has made changes there. It’s wrong that they never took responsibility for their actions, nothing changes that. But they keep the crash cart within arms reach now and they specifically named Williams Syndrome when I voiced concern about how they would handle an adverse reaction to the anesthesia.”

Indeed, this does bring comfort, and with this I know that the struggle was worthwhile.

Update April 2018:

Today I bring the sad news that the Attorney General has concluded its investigation.  There will be zero accountability in Rowan’s case.

Unfortunately, the requirement that “the Board must be able to substantiate the physician’s conduct departed from the STANDARD OF PRACTICE” highlights the problem.

The current standards of practice do not meet the standards necessary for the well-being of individuals with special needs and other minority groups.

The need to CREATE EQUITY IN HEALTHCARE is greater than ever.

Please, join our efforts, in memory of Rowan.

Medical board photo