• Posted: May 28, 2009 13:51:16
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Archie is a cheery guy. He always waves when out grooming his lawn on his dark green riding mower. And if you walk over to chat, he'll kill the mower and ask about your weekend or brag about what he's recently bagged during the current hunting season. But if you ask about his wife, whom you never see out and about, he turns grim. "She's not doing so good."
He explains she has sores across her abdomen that never heal, she also has damage to nerves, muscle, and numerous internal organs. And he explains that after taking a great deal of money on retainer, the lawyers he'd hired have decided not to take the case. If it wasn't for the "good insurance" he's had as a 30 year Teamster driving a sand and gravel truck, he'd be wiped out. No green yard filled with neatly trimmed maples and yellow roses climbing rustic fences. No riding mower or camouflaged SUV. No polished guns with which to hunt. No modest home for he and his wife to weather snow cold winters and hot humid summers.
It all began a few years ago when she went into hospital for appendicitis. The surgeon nicked an intestine and failed to see or close the cut. Bacteria that helps digest our food leaked into her abdomen and attacked with devastating results. The infection has now been largely controlled, but damage has been severe. And, it is not reversible. The hospital treated her, but neither they nor the doctor have admitted fault or offered compensation.
Disturbing. But what can be said except "sorry", precious little comfort for Archie and his long suffering wife. Shit happens. Even the most competent and best prepared among us make errors. Some of them we can plan ahead for and try to obviate. But with others, there is no other option but to suffer the consequences and try to endure.
Archie knows we and others would help, if there was anything we could do to help. But, there isn't. Damage has been irreversibly done. The best we can do is try to fully appreciate the now, and plan for a better next time; something Archie does by robust example every time he smiles and waves.
Thursday, May 10th, 2007
88.8 mm 421 mm