Monday, March 12, 2007

Haitian Hearts Christmas Challenge

Haitian Hearts Christmas Challenge
Author: Dr. John A. Carroll

The last few days anonymous and semi-anonymous commenters have ganged up on me in a very unfriendly, non holiday fashion on Peoria Pundit. I can hardly take their abuse any longer…Even today, Bill the web meister, said I was “single minded” and fell just under his nephew for “disappointment” in his annual and very coveted Festivus award. This makes me think I must be doing something right.

The question remains: How long will Bill Dennis allow me to post? When will his fellow bloggers or employer put enough heat on him to “delete” me? I’ve been “deleted” when OSF didn’t like what I was saying. It will probably happen here at Peoria Pundit too, and I’ll have to be “single minded” somewhere else.The real problem is that people are challenged in Peoria. When the good people in central Illinois are told that an institution does not really do what they say they are doing, the good people have to decide what they should do. Maybe they should do something or maybe they should stay quiet.

Could OSF really be refusing Haitian kids that were operated at OSF in the past for the heart surgery they need now? Who would believe the answer to that is yes? A few anonymous commenters deny, question, and obfuscate this issue. However, we learn more about the attackers than the attacked even when the commenters remain anonymous.

Another topic people have a problem with in Peoria is emergency medicine services. In Peoria, the ambulance business is huge. National studies have shown that for patients transported to an ER, more studies are ordered on that patient than for patients that arrive by private car. So the hospital, doctors, and everybody (except the taxpayer) makes more money. Plus the ambulance company does very well with transport. However, eighty to ninety percent of 911 calls are not for life threatening medical issues. Many people are transported in Peoria that could travel by private vehicle. That is not the best use of the health care dollar as some commenters to this blog seem to forget.

Not many people want to criticize AMT or its biggest supporter in Peoria, OSF. At least not in public. And everyone watched as the Peoria Fire Department pathetically sold the only ambulance they owned several years ago. The ambulance was not medically certified to help Peorians by the physician in charge of ambulances who just happens to work for OSF.

Money and morals are the issues in Peoria and folks are just not happy that the two are related and colliding. Peoria is provincial and people don’t want to lose their jobs or their friends and colleagues by questioning policy. People have lost their own family members, but due to fear, proceed no further in trying to solve the systemic problem. Taking on big embedded systems is tough. These systems didn’t become big and embedded for no reason.

Here is my Christmas Challenge for the Peoria Pundit readers and commenters:

For over one year, I have been following a little girl here in Haiti who is four years old. Her name is Fredline and she suffers from a congenital heart condition called Tetrology of Fallot. She is beautiful, her mom loves her, and she will be dead before she is out of her teenage years unless she is operated.

Haitian Hearts has found a very good pediatric cardiac center for her in the States that will operate her for $10,000. The physicians there, like the Peoria physicians, will do their work pro bono.

Haitian Hearts will obtain her medical visa here in Haiti, fly her to the States, provide Fredline and her mother lodging, and pay the receiving medical center $5,000 dollars for her care. We will fly her back to Haiti and cover her postoperative medications. Fredline will be patient #129 that Haitian Hearts has brought to the States since 1995.

I would like Eyebrows McGee/Laura (EM/L), an avid Pundit commenter, to be in charge of the fundraising for Fredline which should not take long, especially in EML’s circle. EM/L is a local attorney who has a personal website that states that she “has a strong commitment to equal access to the law and the rights of the economically disadvantaged.” Sounds like Fredline and EM/L would be a perfect fit. I recently asked EM/L if she had a connection to OSF’s law team (Hinshaw and Culbertson). EML replied that she did not. On her Eyebrows McGee blog, in August 2006, EM/L states she is married to a gentleman who is a litigator for Hinshaw and Culbertson. Oh well. I still think EM/L should use her skills to raise money for Fredline. Plus, EM/L has more testosterone in her little finger than many other anonymous bloggers have in their entire bodies. Anonymous Tony, the disgruntled, dour paramedic/EMS expert could be second in command raising funds for Fredline. The Christmas holidays seem to be getting Anonymous Tony into a funk, and this may help him out.

With all the money, resources, and good cheer in Peoria, there is no reason why this should not work out. Instead of people “carping” as Bill would say, you can do something constructive to dramatically lengthen and improve the life of this four year old. OSF’s 1.6 billion dollar empire will not be overextended, your tax dollars won’t be touched, you won’t have to come to Haiti and get your hands dirty, and this girl will get a new heart.

Let me know when I should apply for her visa.

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