Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maybe a web page.

It was suggested to me yesterday by someone and by others previously, that I might set up a web page re what happened or what was done to on, and have a place where others can send in their stories. On the street I have heard too much so that have been overwhelmed by the anger and sadness out there. More practical t record this than to just let it wash over me.

Also its almost been a year since Don was killed, and I realise almost every second post has been about this... which is fine for some... but may be easier for others to have this in its own spot apart from the odd post when something major happens.

Now have just got to find someone up here to sit down with me and take me through the web page set up. That may take a while.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

This letter appeared in the Port Macquarie news…

Anyone who feels strongly enough to majke a short reposnse...would be appreciated
Here is the letter

“Dignity for medical profession"
Tuesday, 22 April 2008Posted By Anonymous
As a health professional in Port Macqaurie, I would like to comment on the campaign launched by the Mackay family to denigrate the medical treatment Don Mackay received at Royal North Shore Hospital.

Do they really think a member of the health profession goes out of their way to mistreat someone? In fact, day after day we are there, 24/7, to care for all the patients that present for care, regardless of their social, racial, or medical background.

Sadly, every so often a person presents who believes that despite their multiple co morbitities, the medical profession can and will be able to perform some miraculous act and save their life.

Unfortunately, sometimes despite every effort,nature intervenes and we are left to accept that there are some people whose time has come to die. I fail to see how it is in the interests of the rest of the community if the people we trust in our time of illness and real need are disillusioned and disheartened by the ungragrateful and self-serving expectations of the minority.

No wonder we cannot recruit enough doctors and nurses and other health professionals to care for our sick and infirm when the likes of this campaign are poisoning the community.While I am quite confident that a full inquiry, should it be deemed necessary, will clear all involved of any wrongdoing, I regret that we in the medical profession are not miracle workers, and are just doing our best like the next person.

Perhaps we as a community should be informed of the extent of the compensation being sought by this campaign, so we can make our own judgement. It may clarify some issues for all!”
· MORE Letters to the Editor

The last paragraph is shocking along wth the rest. I really need some comment on this as it impinges on us all and on Don’s right to treatment… we have not lodged any financial legal action against them at all ...

This is where you go to reply


UPDATE - even as I posted this I received this email from the editor of the POrt Macquarie News (on Sunday)
"Hi Therese,
The letter has been removed from the website.
I'm afraid I am on holidays however I have forwarded your email to our GM.

She's usually spot on regarding these issues and I doubt that that letter would have slipped through if she were aboutm as she knows the issue inside out and has been very helpful.

I still hope that the author of that letter has to be indentified as the family is 99% sure of who it is by his turn of phrase... if it is who we think it is then the content of the letter becomes more important.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

When you're on your own...

posting picutres of your dog is a big event....

worthwhile because he's more loyal and decent than most human beings I know.

And he follows me wherever I go without question
Always looking out for "DANGER" or food with about the same vigilance.

I really do love the lovely and handsome dog Thorn... he's such a good doggie.
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My own Mythago Woods...

Its so beautiful after the rain, a cool soft day and its so light after the weeks of rain...you forget sometimes...

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Friday, April 25, 2008

ANZAC DAY 25th April.

I stood today on our town green in torrential rain, beside a sea of people as the Last Post was played...remembering all the times Don and I had stood here... the friendship between young old and all was amazing and we laughed as the rain destroyed all vestiges of fashion, face and fame. I have never experienced such a public show of fellow feeling as I did today. People didn't run for cover when the heavens opened yet again (I am flooded in right now from the town side)... they stood ... young old ill and let the rain run down into sandals and boots...

these songs say it better than I can... not to glorify war... never. But to respect the old men and women.. and the not so old who have gotten caught up in what is never good for the working classes...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This finally is the full page add
I have running in the local papers this coming week. It has gone back and forwards with the lawyers of the papers and I had almost given up...but one last try and I just said take out anything you like just get it in. Its really tame, but at least the many people who knew Don and know me as acquaintances will see it.... I could never get to this many people. Tomorrow in the wee small hours I head off to our local markets (if the rain ever stops) to hold my stand there with photos and petitions. I do intend getting somewhere with this.


The Mackay family and friends have begun a petition to have a full inquiry into the death of Donald William Mackay after his treatment in Royal North Shore Hospital April 11th 2007 –till May 17th 2007.

Donald William Mackay’s cruel death cries out for justice.
This time Silence is not dignity.
We, the family and friends of Don Mackay request that the NSW State Premier and Health Minister ­ begin a full, independent and open investigation into the surgery, treatment, care and subsequent death of Donald William Mackay, as a result of the five weeks he spent in Royal North Shore Hospital between 11th April 2007 and 17th May 2007 (the day he died). We ask that those responsible if found culpable then be subject to disciplinary action. Our reasons are briefly – A RNSH Internal Investigation into Donald Mackay’s hospitalization and death, signed by in writing, admitted many failures in Donald Mackay’s care; such failures, which we believe led directly to his death after five weeks of unimaginable suffering.
For further information in relation to this matter, please write to The Mackay Family at P.O. Box 248 Port Macquarie NSW 2444, or phone 0265839622 / Mob 0417279602 and we will mail you a copy of our leaflet and our petition.
This photo was taken when Don came back home on ANZAC day in 2006... every year he would go down...we would go down to the Town Green... not to honour war but to honour those poor working class buggers who were maimed, and crippled and generally had their lives changed for the worse for ever because of a series of madmen and corporations who were in love with money and power

Friday, April 18, 2008

Isn't this the most wonderful dog on the planet?

I may be biased and I may have posted this before...what the heck... I just spotted this on my screen saver and had to share his big happy grin with you... he makes me smile more than anything.
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Doggie Intelligence.
A funny thing...the other day I was mowing the yard. The mower/slasher which we use had been broken for a while so now fixed, it was pushing through pretty long grass. I was doing it all in a big square working inwards, keeping an eye out (for snakes!!!) for the doggie's toys... he has about three or four rope pull type toys and loves them dearly. I noticed that much of the time I was mowing he was rolling about on his back in the middle of the diminishing center of long grass. He'd get up and go away sometimes and then come back.

When I was finished... I hadn't run over much less found one single toy...they'd been about when I played with him earlier.
When I went down to the shed to put the mower away, here next to his most recent bone, and almost lined up in a row were the three favourite toys. I'd been keeping an eye on his but hadn't noticed him quietly and with intent "saving" his treasures. Almost secretly.
To his eyes the mower would have seemed like it was chewing everything up maybe... I usually lock him inside when the big slasher is going because the man who rides this is likely not to see Thorn and the old dog is slow to get out of the road, but what I was using Thorn was unused to, and also unused to seeing me do it...its been broken that long.
I just wonder what he was thinking and please anyone who says that was instinct... if he'd just put them out of the way...maybe... but to line them up methodically some distance from where I was mowing... hm.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

This time last year, almost to the hour, I was preparing to close down my house for the drive down to Royal North Shore Public hospital in Sydney. Unknown to me my husband had already been signed up for surgery late in the evening of the night before, when he was exhausted from the trip. I know that the Doctor who "explained" the surgery had such limited English that Don would have been unable to fully understand what he was told...but I doubt that that mongrel told him of any risks anyway...we met him later and had to ask a nurse to translate.

Those of you who have been on this journey with me have really helped a lot. Too often in the wee small hours rather than share the night with the nightmares I have been left with, I get up and walk about, blog a bit etc. Hopefully there will come a time when the myriad images which circulate inside my head continually will ease and one day I will sleep as I used to do.

In only a few short hours they will do the surgery which led directly to his death and to the five weeks of his torture and abuse.

You see in my head it is still happening as if it is in present tense. Tried grief counselling, and she was good, but she even admitted it was a bit more than what she knew about. What I feel isn't grief alone. That natural and awful thing would be a blessing... I could deal with that. What I feel is a deep horror that these things could be done, to one so helpless as my husband. That they could be done to him and covered up by people society protects and even respects. I could even handle it if he had died soon after the first arrest... I would still be seeking justice for that but it still breaks my heart to know I couldn't protect or stop his torture and abuse. I couldn't stop one day of it, one week and certainly not the five weeks.
There are things I can't describe because I don't really have the words for them. I recall times when I would come into the room early in the day and he would have a wild trapped animal look in his eyes and would have pulled himself up almost sitting by the restraints...hallucinating; and the nurse would say it'd been like this for hours. When I was there he would settle a bit. They buggered about so much with his oxygen levels and medications you never knew what you were going to find. I wish now I had had the courage to help him die as he, wanted to but I didn't want to see him go through the horrible build up to another respiratory arrest. I just couldn't do it and I know he wouldn't have wanted me to carry that, because likely as not the kids would have lost two parents.
Yesterday a huge bunch of flowers arrived from the kids... they are going through their own individual nightmares and all we can do for each other is to talk it out...I hold back a bit from the worst with them because I am the mother, but I know how they are feeling.

I know all the stuff...like "time will heal" and I know it does. I never thought I'd recover from my Mum and Dad's deaths, but as years passed I did. This is entirely different. As far as we are concerned Don was killed by them. In the process of that killing he was tortured by their grotesque parody of modern medicine. His abuse was shocking and prolonged. Relatives of murdered people must feel like this, because whether their intent to kill was there or not, once they botched it they kept him alive to cover up. To put a great distance between the event and the death. This is not uncommon when things have gone horribly wrong. Now they hide behind a dirty corrupt system which allows them to do what they want to us when we go into their standing coffins of hospitals.

There's gold in them thar research blocks and thats about what was going on ...research. Here they had a middle aged Quadriplegic... of long duration (25yrs) with multiple medical problems... hmmm... he arrives late in the evening with nary a relative in sight. Hmmm. 'What can we do "for" (to) him do you reckon? His quality of life must be shit... doesn't seem to be anyone about who'll kick up a stink ... sign him up quick.'

When Don was neglected enough to have that first arrest...and arrived in ICU... we were told that they encourage all those who arrive in ICU to partake in a study called "NICE" (can you believe that name).. its to do with Insulin levels and shock etc.

They told us that those who took part in this had a better chance of survival because they would be having their blood checked more regularly. Sounded good. But what did we know? We didn't hold out hope of survival but they kept holding out these slivers of hope...which was wrong of them. I started to notice after a week or so that he would be given the odd bag of blood. My sister couldn't understand this as he had no internal bleeding.

Near the end I was there when a doc and nurse came in to him in a hurry and attached a bag of blood and physically squeezed/that into him by pushing on the bag and rolling it a bit. They seemed panicky. I asked them what was wrong and was just told that he needed this and now. The way my head was, much of the time although I appeared okay on the surface, most of the time I felt like I was walking through a murky kind of fog. As soon as they did that bag they came in with another and did the same. My sister (a nurse) who was back home in Brisbane couldn't believe this, but I saw this with my own eyes.

I believe but can't prove this, but I believe that the amount of bloods they were taking out for their filthy research, Don who was dying just couldn't make back up again and it was things like this which increased his suffering. Thats just one thing.

The reason I didn't know, is because I didn't know the right questions to ask, and they never volunteered information. But sometimes I did ask the right questions... hit the nail on the head with them, one doctor became openly aggressive towards me in front of my daughter Melissa. Others just muddied the waters with their so called answers.

Sorry people, if you got this far... I'm a pretty happy little Vegemite mostly, but I just feel so traumatised by what I am carrying around inside my head... I just had to get it out.

Those little smart arse pricks who collectively killed and tortured Don probably sleep the smug sleep of the self satisfied and righteous. And I know if there is an after life that I wouldn't want to be dying with what they have done on their souls. I honestly don't think that they even consider that they have done anything wrong. They always seem so surprised when someone attempts to call them to account... as if they were Hippocrates himself... more like Hypocrites... pretty close those two words...what did the ancient Greeks know hm?

I'm about spent for now... it'll be daylight soon and the sky will lighten, the birds will begin carolling in the day. My lovely old smelly Kelpie will wander out to go outside (he smells because its been raining)... I'll go out with him and wander up the long path as I always do...I am a morning person anyway thank goodness... I can go out in the dawn and look at my flowers and the sky and take pleasure in it. One day I will be able to do just that and nothing else. For now beneath the pleasure there's the darker stuff and it is in my head all the time...

I think I am dealing with things as I am meant to do for the girls and I. I'm not going crazy... just having normal reactions to horrible and abnormal things.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

When I first met Don in September 1972...we went home (to his place...soon to be mine) hussey that I was...and the first music he played for me was Uriah Heep. Late that evening so long ago a song of theirs came on and tears rolled down his cheeks... I knew what sort of man he was from that and three weeks later we moved in together... never to part... it was this

this song makes me cry but makes me also recall those times and what sort of person...even as young as we were..that he was and would become.
We kick backside (Aussie for Arse).

The four of us came away from the visit outside NSW Parliament House feeling very positive. The feedback from people was 99% positive with many expressing their wishes to know more.

We took a thousand leaflets and petitions with us, and returned with only fifty. We were amazed at people’s knowledge on the problems within the NSW Health system and we had many people express their unhappiness and in some cases their bitterness as quite a few had lost relatives and friends through bad outcomes in the hospital system.

Too many homeless. Too
many of them with obvious mental health problems.... one especially who had an artificial leg...visible because of the khaki board shorts he had on...carried all his belongings about him... I get to go home to a bed...

(L2R ..Veronica (my eldest sister, Melissa (eldest daughter and good friend Carmel)

he offered to sign our petition with all of the 50 names he is known by...but lost patience after 2 and swore the beejesus out of Parliament house behind all of us ...and no doubt with just cause. Poor bugger was highly intelligent and mad as a hatter.

Our posters were strung out and fitted right along the front fence of the Parliament. Security (to our surprise) allow
ed us to attach them to the railings with cable ties, which the police said they normally never do (and even helped us with the cable ties...maybe some of their loved ones have also been treated badly by the medical system)

We were there from 8.30am till 3pm in the afternoon and were able to hand out our leaflets and petitions to many of the politicians who came into Parliament. The funny part was how these very serious and "heavy" dudes walked past us three abreast at times into the hallowed halls, looking sooo important in their suits - all paid for by the NSW taxpayers...lest they forget.

Towards the end of the day, realising that not one Labour Party politician had come out the front to speak to us, although we were very visible, we asked the Duty Sergeant at Arms to take our material and petition to Ms Reba Meagher (our absent health minister) and give it to her and seek acknowledgement. This is something that is now her Parliamentary duty to do.

Mr Andrew Stoner (my MP) came outside and joined us a couple of times and showed us his support, also Melinda Palvey National Party MLC.

Mr Andrew Constance the Member for Bega spoke to me about the problem alerting the NSW Government to the problem with Dr Reeves (Bega Doctor) which he had raised in Parliament six months ago and that nothing was done about Dr Reeves. Mr Constance is the Shadow Minister for Disability Services and I was able to speak with him about the dangerous position of those in hospitals who have severe disabilities and the lack of adequate care the hospital system provides for them. He and his secretary were aware of this dangerous situation which those severely disabled face at every hospital visit. But that is just another issue

On the day we were outside Parliament House the Special Commission of Inquiry into Acute Care services in NSW Public hospitals was being held again at RNSH. Very important and disturbing issues were being raised at RNSH during the day.

We were very surprised to see that Mr. Mathew Daley Chief Executive, Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service and Ms Mary Dowling, Manager of the Professional Practice Unit Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service were not at RNSH but instead had arrived outside NSW Parliament House to speak with us at about 11.30am. Ms Dowling has been involved with investigation of my husband’s case inside RNSH and was the first from RNSH to contact me last year.

I was asked could I come inside to speak with them but declined as my place was out the front, speaking to those people who had come to show support and who were passing by. I said I would meet with them later when we were closing down, and was surprised that Ms Dowling agreed to wait. He and she are sooo important for something or other. She came down a couple of times to see if we were ready, but in the end I said I would meet with her at three, in a coffee shop across the road rather than inside the office they were going to use.
(I am in the black top and morone skirt...)

We spoke with Mr. Daly and Ms Dowling at some length but left unsure of exactly what it was they wanted to speak to us about. It was very vague.

We would have assumed that their place should have been at RNSH that day as issues of malnutrition (they spend $3 a day feeding public patients in NSW hospitals and many are malnourished even after only short stays) and the death of Vanessa Anderson were being discussed.

It may have had something to do with the fact that RNSH name and the actions of the hospital and some staff were spread right along the front of Parliament house.

We are curious about their presence and felt they were quite determined for us to go inside to speak with them an
d very disappointed when we chose not to. We were all uneasy about this.

My daughter Melissa, my eldest sister Veronica, who travelled from Brisbane and a good friend Carmel from Port Macquarie accompanied me and as mentioned we felt that the day achieved what it was meant to achieve. We know now that every MP who attended Parliament that day was aware of what had been done to my husband, whether they came out to see us or not. Nobody can now say that they did not know. Many Parliamentary staff took the time in their lunch breaks to read our literature and some spent quite some time going right along the posters reading all of them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

You just have to laugh...

The other day (Friday) I gave evidence at yet another NSW Government Inquiry into the failing health system in our state. I was allowed 20mins and gave a pretty darn god account of what was done to Don inside that filthy cockroach ridden hell hole called Royal North Shore Hospital (its on the north shore of Sydney dahlings so it must be good!!! people used to think).

I'd spent many hours getting it all to flow but also because it was very graphic stuff when I read it out I was struggling to get through... but I did, minus the tissues so eagerly proffered when I had to stop for a moment... so at least I didn't snot all over the place if I had any snot left...

I listened to a couple of others do their bit, one particularly moving account by a young mum who's child is severely disabled, naso gastric drip etc etc with cerebral palsy and other things, who relayed that when she takes her son to hospital she is so afraid something will happen to him that she isn't game to leave him to get a cup of coffee or anything... because of nursing staff... since his birth he'd been hospitalised 50 times...poor family...

any how as I left I was stopped by a man at the door who asked me
"What profession have you?"Huh??? I hear you think...
Blithely I answered "The profession of life",
Not enough information dear sir?
"No what I meant was, your presentation (presentation???) was done so intelligently I just wondered what sort of profession you are in." he responded looking even more "Intelligent??" Jesus Mary and Joseph and begorrah... ah dearie dearie me.

"Well actually my only professional qualifications are from life." ses me thinking that had been a pretty tough and rigorous education which had set me up for what I had to face...
"And what profession are you?" I asked.. trying to look even more intelligent...
"I'm a psychiatrist." (shit shit shit...look normal....they now have your number you darn crazy).

Then after an interview with local TV who were very kind to me actually I went out in the car park and bawled my eyes out...sometimes little kindness unexpectedly given are what set you off crying if you are unprepared.

What still bemuses me is the attitude of such "professionals" that those of us with limited formal education are able to put anything beyond "The cat sat on the mat" together in a sentence, or have thoughts and the ability to work things out and turn the tables on them. That has them in a quandary.

I have had people say to me "you have a good mind, what a shame you didn't do something with it, like become a lawyer or something." and have no conception of their insult and their own lack of common sense and courtesy.

I have always thought that you cannot educate someone to have commonsense in a formal education setting like a university because by then they are developing the idea (not all) that they are some sort of elite, especially doctors and lawyers. But with such rigid selectively specialised education sometimes the commonsense they learned in the Profession of life is left on the door steps of their family home, when they head off to become a Professional.

I have heard more common sense from blog mates here that I hear from anywhere except for a few goodies I know... and we don't know or care what profession each of us is... it really doesn't matter. its for the chat, the exchange, the fun of it, learning new things, hearing stuff you would never hear about or see etc etc

Anyhow its April Fools day here and I am off the Sydney later today for my little demonstration outside Parliament house tomorrow. There will be four of us, and petitions which I have already posted. I will get to see our eldest daughter Melissa briefly and my eldest sister Veronica, also briefly... that will be nice.

I may have mentioned I have made 31 large posters (laminated matte so they can be photographed) and strung them together with small cable ties and these will stretch almost all the way along the front of the street outside the building. They won't look that impressive here because they are just photos of the originals ...here are just a few.

If I don't get arrested or shot (tee hee) I'll be back on Thursday.

Thats five of them anyhow just hope they don't lose my suitcase on the plane now!