Fwd: [IRR] A call to action

From: Udhay Shankar N (udhay@pobox.com)
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 20:54:25 PDT

Marcia is a personal friend, and a good person in various senses of the
term. If you can help, please do so.


>Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 12:29:51 -0600
>From: Marcia Blake <marcia@automagix.com>
>Organization: Automagix!
>Subject: [IRR] A call to action
>Dear Friends,
>I received some very bad news on Monday, and now must urgently seek
>assistance from as many people as I can think of. I am writing to you to
>ask for your help.
>Some of you on this blind-copied list know that I had a total hip
>replacement at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego in January 2000. Some of
>you also know that within a few weeks after the surgery, I knew it had
>been a failure. A lesser number of you know that I have obtained "second
>opinions" from three orthopedic surgeons, all of whom agree that the
>prosthetic stem was inserted crooked, that it has made the leg on that
>side almost two inches too long, and that revision surgery was required.
>A few months ago, one of those surgeons also informed me that the
>prosthetic socket cap was inserted incorrectly as well, and that the
>prongs on the back of the cap are dissolving bone with every motion.
>I have been battling for over a year to get Kaiser to "make good" on
>this very faulty surgery. (They did go so far as to schedule revision
>surgery for August 26, 2000, but the Kaiser physician who was to have
>performed the surgery became unavailable, and on August 31 my job in San
>Diego ended, I moved home to Santa Fe, and I became uninsured - and
>In my attempts to obtain remedial care since then, I have diligently
>followed every avenue available to me, ranging from Kaiser's internal
>appeals process to the State of California's Department of Managed
>Health Care. I have met with no success. I have been frustrated and very
>angry at the relentlessly increasing level of pain and disability I must
>live with, but until Monday, I thought that at least it was temporary -
>something I could deal with until a means became available for me to
>have the required revision surgery.
>On Monday, however, the orthopedic surgeon I'm seeing here in Santa Fe
>informed me that without the surgery, the damage being caused by the
>loose prostheses will inevitably leave me _permanently_ unable to walk.
>I had not known that the delay in getting the revision done could have
>such a dramatic consequence, and it has taken me until now to "process"
>that information.
>It finally occurred to me last night that, since there has been no
>appropriate response inside "the system," it's time to go outside of it.
>This is a perfect opportunity to put my background in communications and
>publishing to work, so I am going to mount a media campaign in an effort
>to draw appropriate attention to this matter. (I've already learned,
>thanks to my younger daughter, that Good Morning America ran a piece
>sometime last week about a group of doctors who have formed a coalition
>to fight HMO power at the federal level. That's perfect: It means an
>issue like mine is already on GMA's radar and I may be able to generate
>some interest there in this particular story.)
>I am asking you for any help at all that you can provide, from
>suggesting media contacts to writing letters on my behalf. All of us
>have networks of family, friends, and colleagues, and if we are to
>believe the business writers, there are only six degrees of separation
>from any one person to just the right contact. I hope you will tell my
>story to everyone _you_ can think of.
>While I readily grant that most of my interest in drawing media
>attention to my situation is driven by my wish to avoid spending the
>rest of my life in a wheelchair, it does go beyond the personal: every
>one of us almost certainly knows someone else who has been failed by an
>HMO. I want this to be a New York Times cover story and a network TV
>feature not just for myself, but because it's time to show President
>Bush how wrong he was in vetoing the recent legislation that would have
>returned to medical consumers at least a little of the power that HMOs
>have appropriated from us.
>To those of you who are reading this outside the USA, I ask that you not
>dismiss it as something that doesn't affect you. You may be right - you
>may never have to deal directly with an issue like this - but you may
>know someone who _would_ care. If you, too, put the word out, someone
>six degrees or less from _you_ may be just the person I'm looking for.
>Most of you know me as a rather proud, "I-can-do-it-myself" kind of
>person, but these events have changed me. This is something I know I
>cannot do alone, and I earnestly ask - no, I am _begging_ - for your
>Some time ago, I added a quote to my email ".sig" - for no reason other
>than I liked it and felt it to be true. I ask you to read and consider
>it now.
>My thanks to you,
>Marcia Blake http://www.automagix.com Automagix!
>E-business Strategies | Cross-media Communications
>A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

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