Friday, September 28, 2007

Yesterday was a real Cold Chill sort of day for me.

Some background... those of you who have read my past posts are too well aware that I said I was working on a solid complaint against Royal north Shore Hospital (Sydney Australia) and its dreadful treatment of my husband Don which led to his death in mid May this year.

It has taken up a lot of my time and finally I produced the full complaint which consists of four parts and just over a hundred typewritten pages in all.

I have been so encouraged by my daughters Melissa and Alison and some of my sisters that I felt and knew myself like what I was doing was some sacred sort of "trust" if that makes sense.

So this has taken months. Don died mid May and it took a month or so to get the hospital records first. Then to put it all together was a nightmare.

I took our solicitor's good advice and chose to approach a local MP (from the opposition - always a good move... and arrange an appointment with him, present my folder of complaint, and ask him to forward folders to the other relevant bodies such as the health care Complaints Commission, The NSW Medical Registration Board and the Ombudsman.

I was fully expecting that my work would just go onto dusty shelves for the obligatory six months and that I would have to be continually pushing them along till they grew sick of me... or till I grew sick.

I got no answer from the MP and rang his office again on Monday to say "Hulloooo".

As it happened there was an amazing conjunction of circumstances and I am walking about the house smiling happy for the first time in ages... and don't any of you tell me out there that there isn't something going on around us we are too dim to understand.

Royal North Shore Hospital has suddenly hit the headlines this week after a series of pregnant women revealed they were left holding miscarriages (fetuses) in their hands in the toilets after being ignored... Doctors had to dig one out of the waste paper bin after the woman was told to use toilet paper to clean it and herself toilet paper in the women's so she was told to get it from the men's...ain't life just so sacred?

So the State Gov was forced to react (they never act) and called for an Inquiry but only into Pregnant women and Accident and Emergency.

The Opposition demanded a total and open Inquiry into all complaints... so the pieces started to draw together...

Finally I got to the end of printing five copies , 100 pages each...on Tuesday evening I thought "what to do with all of this?".
On Wednesday I brought home five plastic ring binders and boxes of plastic sleeves for the pages. I sat in the floor from midday till midnight collating it all together into five presentable packages..thinking that as most "skim" read these days if I made it as easy and as readable as possible it would work in our interest.

At 9.30 am on Wednesday morning I got a phone call from the MP's office in Sydney six hours drive from here. "Can you get on the lunchtime flight and be at parliament house by 2pm we'll arrange the flights and pick you up at the airport?" Could I what...?

I had been out in the yard weed pulling etc and had about 2 hrs to get ready...The last photo for the folder insert was printing as I got dressed and off up and away...

We made it with just minutes to spare before Question was uncanny.

Sight unseen this MP had trusted that my complaint was a solid one and based his Question Time in Parliament on it...demanding a general Inquiry on all complaints about RNSH and siting Don's name and my complaint. Melissa had met me at Parliament house and was as gobsmacked as I as to the timing.

One day before and I would not have been able to present my folders.

Melissa and I and Andrew Stoner the MP were asked to do a press Conference and I had plenty of time to relay some of what happened to Don... reporters are so bloody young these days. A radio interview and a little time on tele...not much but enough.

Don and I have fought with many of the MP's on both sides over various issues. We are not popular. The Labor Health Minister Rheba Meagher "Condoled" me for my loss and then say "no Inquiry go to the established bodies", with all the syrup and schlop some of these politically correct female pollies seem to smear all over everything they do... she is a bitch, but I can be a worse and more experienced (ie older) bitch.

When we left Parliament House Melissa decided to take a short cut through an old cobblestone thoroughfare... hoping it would save us going round the block...we walked past this brick wall and on it about waist (for those who have them) height was the name of some business which had disappeared ages before....most of the letters of the name had fallen off the bricks... there were 3 letters left... any takers?


Melissa took a photo of me standing near this... she said "this is just too bizarre". I will post it when she sends it.

We spoke to Radio later, on our way to the airport... down and back (poor bloody dog was locked in the house with multiple bowls of water and much food... which he didn't touch.... I was gone for 10 hours and he lasted the distance...I defy us humans to have those good manners)

I got back at about 9pm and thought "What the hell happened? There was my wet towel and all of that stuff... and I laughed and laughed.

They can't bloody ignore our complaint now its too bloody public and I am still amazed at how all the jigsaw pieces fitted together with such synchronicity. Melissa and I kept getting the cold chills... all I could think was that i had this image of Don a smilin' away at their embarrassment and discomfort...he loved this stuff it was the bread of life for him to call the bastards to account and he could be as cunning as a shithouse rat when he worked it out.

Sorry non believers but this had too much of the touch of him to be coincidental... and I may seem foolish but I haven't stopped chuckling today which is such a nice change.

Sometimes...not often enough good things do happen for good people.

Just click on the right hand side where it says Video... we are right at the end... there was more but I missed it because I was travelling home. Might only interest Aussies but hospital systems are the same in the western world


j kieselguhr said...

Good on yer, MC! Go get the bastards!

Cazzie!!! said...

THAT is sooo bloody fantastic, I am so over the go for it, go for broke..yes, of course Don is laughing with you Therese..and I have just shed many happy tears!!!

Pat said...

Freakin' awesome MC! Go for it!!!! Go right for the jugular - they did!! I'm crying, and have goosebumps as I write this!!

Jacqui said...

Keep going the will take a long time but be worth in the end.

My sister was involved in a state inquiry in Canberra (she was one of the guilty ones I am afraid)and it took a few years for the truth to come out.

Part of Debs problems, like the nurse and the Doctor in the video, were the cutbacks required of the staff...doing the jobs of 3 people for the pay of one person. People don't mean to be cruel but if they aren't getting the backup they need, then these things do happen. Unfortunately sometimes like Don, bad things happen.

Don will see you right, I am sure.

mirk said...

You know I'm a believer! What goes around etc. If enough people, pull out enough ivory bricks out, the tower will eventually come down. Stick in there MC :)

jin said...

I believe it!!!!
How wonderful... I'm so happy things are going your way!
I watched the video, too... that was a wonderful picture of Don she was holding up... and I could hear him laughing at them as well!

Ann ODyne said...

I just swung by to paste this ...
"Corridors of fear at Royal North Shore Hospital … "The staff are pretty frightened to speak out because of fear of retaliation.

and am thrilled for you that you got a result.
you earned it.

Don prevails. Get 'em Donnie.

JahTeh said...

Synchronicity with bells and whistles. Don's with you all the way.

Wanna_B_slimmer said...

I have goosbumps also... thats frikkin awesome.. you have been able to have your say... you go girl....
Thats just amazing...
Dont give up.. you have just begun!!!

cs said...

I am proud of you for all the hard work and truly the patience you have to endure in this so far....good going friend.

Sara said...

Yay! That's too great! I'd wish you good luck, but it seems you have plenty already!