These people cost a little boy his life and didn’t even say “sorry”…

June 14th, 2014

DSC01294If you follow the Wyatt Leamon Foundation or our family on Facebook, then you know that the anniversary of Wyatt’s passing is nearly upon us (June 22nd, 2014 is the 6th anniversary of his passing).  For us, it’s always a time of reflection and sadness and my next post will probably revolve around the meaning of dates because that one’s long overdue.  But in the meantime, I had a conversation with some co-workers and friends the other day that I thought I’d share.

We were discussing how my friend had moved into his brand-new house and how his new washer and dryer set had been delivered with a huge gash on it.  Upon dealing with the back-and-forth damage claims process, he was pretty outraged that the delivery guys claimed no responsibility for it.

It got me thinking… on a much more devastating level, the doctors at UCLA, the insurance company and the Pediatrician who prescribed the deadly antibiotic that conspired to take my sons life were like these delivery guys.  From the story he told, these guys weren’t evil people.  They were just doing their jobs, being human and probably, having to “tow the line”, corporate-style.  The time wasted, the anger from the dishonesty and the lack of ownership of the negative outcome took a toll on my friend which resulted in a pretty bad couple of days.

Zoom out to the scale of our tragic story and you essentially have the same story just at a different altitude and impact.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, you probably want to check out Wyatt’s Story online to better understand what happened to our family and our little “Pie Man”.  But here’s the bullet-based cliff notes:

  • Wyatt had an ear infection and was prescribed an anti-biotic by his Pediatrician (he subsequently went into liver failure because of an allergic reaction to the medicine)
  • He was declared in need of a liver transplant in San Diego but his insurance company refused to cover the operation in SD and he had to be transferred to UCLA Medical Center
  • The UCLA Doctors essentially ignored the treatment history that took place in SD and started over, costing my son precious time to save his life and ultimately, he passed away under their watch before a liver transplant could take place

IMG00146The crazy part is, just like the story of my friend and his washer… the people who were responsible never ever said they were sorry!  Yes, you read that right.  Not once, not from our Pediatrician, our insurance company or the Doctors who watch Wyatt slowly whither away and die in front of our eyes never, ever once said that they were sorry.

Why?  Why why why why why???

I’m sure there’s some sort of liability protection bullshit that went on here but all I can say is that our family was left devastated.  A happy healthy boy ripped from his beautiful life and his devastated family watching it all happen despite the faith and trust they put into these people and the system that employs them.  And we didn’t even get an “our bad”, “I’m sorry”, “mea culpa”, “oops”, “we made a mistake”, “if only we had known…”.  Nothing.

In the end, we’re six years removed from the passing of our little Pie Man and this experience has given us so much to question, so much to consider, with a deep perspective that now shapes our new world in ways that no one could understand without having been there.  And out of the ashes I can’t say that we haven’t gone in great directions, with big victories and happy days for our family that I am proud to say could’ve been a pipe dream had we let these people destroy us given the circumstances for how we (and Wyatt) were wronged.

That being said, whether it’s a few bad days from a damaged washer or whether it’s a lifetime of sadness and reflection year in and year out due to this sad, preventable tragedy, the least these people could’ve said was:  “I’m sorry”.

I have a feeling we’ll be waiting a lifetime to hear those words from those involved.




Comments are closed.