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Doctors Don’t Know Everything – “Medical Marvel”

I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. When I was born, doctors told my parents I would not live past the age of five. Because I was born with a rare condition that affects my heart, when I was eleven I was told that I would not make it past 13 and they told my parents, I had maybe 2 years left to my life if I had a heart transplant. When I was 14, I was called a “medical marvel”. I was just as active as any 14 year old but I would maybe have 3 more years to live.

I am now 29 years old; I still have my own heart. I am limited in some aspects of life. But I work, I have a family, friends and I am still here and no longer considered a “medical marvel” because people with my condition are now living into their sixties.

Why am I telling you this? Because doctors donšt know everything, everyone is different. If you are a doctor and tell someone they are going to die, they will go out and buy a coffin. They will think of ways that they are going to die pain free. Pain free sounds pretty good, I was told a blood clot would slowly block my aorta and it would explode under pressure, it would be a slow death, maybe an hour to a week of nothing but pain and extreme internal bleeding.

Now, you have a bill coming up, which says there are guidelines for people to die with dignity. As a person that has been told many times by many different doctors that she is going to die, I am urging you not to pass this bill. Unless you include money necessary to provide real healthcare for all, full funding for hospice and palliative care not only for people at the end of life but though out their life span.

Ericka Reil