Ch. 4 – The story behind the story

A 36 year old man with chest pain

The story of Jonathan began as an EM RAP episode and was released in January 2009. Compiling the information was time consuming, but it slowly came together with interviews of his family, his attorney, newspaper articles, and information from the freedom of information act. The process took months and when I found the chairman of the ED for the initial visit, Tim Whiteside (who did not see the patient) I knew we would have enough to discuss this case. I should note that the attorneys did not allow Mr. Larson, Jonathan’s dad, to discuss any elements of the case as this was part of the settlement agreement. It was an honor to speak with this gentleman.

I also got help from Jonathan Martin , with the National Marfan’s Foundation, who sent me video tapes from newsprograms at the time of the death. We had many conversations and he was very supportive of the project.

I even found the name of the initial ED doctor and spoke with him on the phone, but after a few minutes, when he discovered the reason for my call, he told me there was an emergency and had to get off the phone right away. I was never able to get in touch with him again.

The long, rambling into was shortened for an audio presentation by my cousin Sora Newman, who travels around the country coaching NPR folks on how to best present on the program.

The EM RAP program ended with a song of Jonathan’s. I have listened to this episode many times and get choked up each time…


  1. Ryan Longstreth, MD FACEP – Co-author Bouncebacks! and ED attending Mt. Carmel St.Ann’s
  2. Greg Henry, MD FACEP – Professor emergency medicine Univ. of Michigan, Past president ACEP, and CEO Medical Practice Risk Assessment
  3. Amal Mattu, MD, FAAEM, FACEP, Director Emergency Medicine Residency Program Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine
  4. Tim Whiteside, MD – (double boarded in EM/IM) – ED director Cabrini in 1996 – did not have direct patient contact but was named in lawsuit and very familiar with case. Heads performance improvement Hawaii Emergency Physicians Associates
  5. Greg Rankin, JD,  – Managing partner at Lane Alton & Horst in Columbus, Ohio with 30 years of medical practice defense. Recognized in 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of medical malpractice
  6. Diane Sixsmith, MD, MPH, FACEP, Chairman Dept. Emergency Medicine New York Hospital Queens and Asst. Professor of Emergency Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University and expert witness for the state with NY Office of Professional Misconduct
  7. Rob Rogers, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FACP – Assistant Professor,Univ. ofMarylandSchool ofMedicine
  8. Mel Herbert, MBBS (MD) BmedSci, FACEP – Editor EM RAP, Associate Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, USC Keck School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, LAC & USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
  9. Mike Weinstock, MD – Clinical Associate Professor Dept. Emergency Medicine Ohio State University, ED attending and director of medicaleducation Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s ED, Risk management editor EM RAP