Ch. 2 – The story behind the story

Chapter 2 – A 42 year old fireman with shoulder pain

The story behind the story (how we got case 2 and other interesting tidbits…):

This is the case that got the whole thing going. We had several cases initially presented on EM RAP (chapters 4 and 8 ) and were able to reproduce additional information to keep the interest of those familiar with the program, but that was not close enough for a whole book. We had 2 requirements: the original ED chart plus deposition or trial testimony. But it was dead-end after dead-end.

I was at Chautauqua, NY on vacation with the family, staying in a late 1800’s house and sitting on the beautiful front porch. It was late afternoon and I was going through some of the appeals decisions and trying to find additional information with ever variation of google search I could think of. I had the realization the attorney’s names were right on the top of the page. It was easy to find the attorney’s phone number with a search so I gave it a try. Well, unlike us shift workers, they actually have offices with secretaries. It was late afternoon and I first called Neil Frued, the defense attorney. He was interested and remembered a lot about the case. He came up with many of the details, detailed briefly toward the end of the chapter. I next tried Dwight Brannon, but got a voice mail and left a message. Within 20 minutes my cell rang, Dwight on the line. He not only offered to bring the information to me in Columbus, but to come to SanFrancisco and present the case at Essentials, all on his own dime (when Mel heard about this he arranged for Dwight’s flight and hotel).

A few weeks later we met during a shift – I ran out to the parking lot and loaded my Prius to the top with posters from the trial and box after box of deposition and trial testimony. I learned more about how an attorney prepares a case from these records than from any other case – there were hundreds of numbered file folders with financial statements, testimony and family photos. I was reminded that Dwight and David Lykins, the patient, had been friends. This was not just about winning a case – this was personal.

Dwight and I met one crisp fall morning at a Bob Evans in Springfield Ohio and I learned even more about trials and about Dwight. He has been touched by this diagnosis, first by the death of his friend, and then by the numerous cases he had tried with others with the same diagnosis. He came to SanFrancisco to prevent others from misdiagnosis… and to try his hand again in front of a jury of doctors, mid-level providers, and nurses…

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