December 2013

December 2013

Twelve months after Rowan was killed, we mark the end of a chapter.

We now know, for certain, that Rowan was killed.  That Rowan was not meant to die that day.

We now know, for certain, why Rowan was killed.  Because we, as Rowan’s parents, were never heard.  Because Rowan, our amazing son, was never seen.

We now know, for certain, how Rowan was killed.  Rowan went into cardiac arrest, along with at least 40 other people with William’s Syndrome, as a result of the interaction of anesthesia with his body.  Scientists will continue to work out the minutiae of this interaction, but the minutiae is not necessary to know how these wonderful people were killed.

Twelve months later, we have lost a battle.  Rowan’s death will serve as another example of a wrongful death.  Another example of doctors and hospitals hiding behind the strength of their institution.  Another example of people with disabilities not being seen for who they are.  Another example of parents trying to fight a broken system and losing.  Another example of nobody saying sorry to a five year-old for killing her little brother.

We have lost a battle.  But losing this battle didn’t really matter, because our family had already lost our war.  Each day of that battle, we walked empty handed, without our son in our arms.  Each day, we knew that we had already lost everything that mattered, our most precious right as parents already taken away.

For those that choose to continue, we will keep our how to take action page updated, and welcome the use of our story to conquer the bigger problems for which Rowan’s death serves as a mere example.  We hope that, if you do decide to continue this battle, you will choose to do so in memory of Rowan.

For us, we will continue our peaceful protest, until the day that we can no longer speak.  We will continue to remember Rowan, and share his story.  We will remember loudly the wonderful life that we had with Rowan, and our joyful child that was taken from us too soon.  Please join us, in always remembering, and take every opportunity, along with us, to REMEMBER ROWAN LOUDLY.

Please meet Rowan

Link to: Current Williams Syndrome Anesthesia research in Australia


Also, however you choose to move forward, please remember one last thing:

Profound grief rewrites your life and forces you to face an unforgiving world completely exposed. Our pain, anger and despair as well as our hopes for some semblance of healing, are there for everyone to see – all the time. We are learning that it is rare for even those who care to look at such exposure without flinching. But, when people turn away for whatever reason, it is incredibly isolating and lonely. As grieving parents, we don’t often have the ability to ask for help, so we ask all who know us and care to not be afraid to reach out, even just to say “I don’t know what to do”. Acknowledgement that we are survivors of an insurmountable trauma, and that for most people our loss is beyond comprehension is really needed so we can hope to do more that just survive. But with support, and the acceptance that we will never heal, never be complete, we can begin to try to live again.



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.