Around their Fresno neighborhood, Daphne McClendon-Ricks was known to all the kids simply as “Mom.” She was the shoulder to lean on, the unbreakable woman who salved wounds and gave good advice, and the friendly neighbor who helped mow a lawn or gave away vegetables from her bountiful backyard garden. She was a vigorous 59-year-old except for one health problem: a nagging case of diverticulitis, an ailment of the colon.
At the peak of her nursing career, Dana Stinson was permanently disabled by a disastrous surgery and the doctor's subsequent attempt to cover up her mistakes. Now, Dana will never care for another patient.
Robert Downey worked alongside his wife at the elder care business they ran together. He was honorably discharged from the army after serving six years as a sergeant in the United States Army Military Police Corps. An independent and hardworking man, he was dedicated to caring for his family. Soon, everything would change.
Stephen Schaak, an otherwise healthy 51-year-old merchant marine, husband and father of three sons, went to the emergency room exhibiting clear signs of a pulmonary embolism -- blockage of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches to the lung. The emergency room doctor suspected as much and ordered a CT scan to confirm.
A nagging pain in her abdomen sent Shanna Alvarado to a Kaiser hospital in Southern California in October 2010. An ultrasound showed the origins of that pain: a complex cyst that prompted worries about cancer. A radiologist at Kaiser noted in the hospital’s medical records that Shanna should follow up in six weeks, which is the standard protocol in such medical situations.
He was the one who consoled countless victims of crime and disaster, a fire and police chaplain well known in San Diego. Even after a long struggle with diabetes meant Rabbi Aaron Gottesman lost his legs to amputation, the unsinkable chaplain would show up at fires, crime scenes, and disasters to console those in grief from his wheelchair.
On January 5th, 2013 Mario Guzman went running with his wife in the hills near their house. Despite some nasal congestion and weakness for the past few weeks, he ran, thinking exercising might make him feel better. During his run, he twisted his ankle. But even with the pain, he completed his jog.
In 2007, Diane Stewart received two knee replacements because of injuries she sustained in a car crash when she was younger. After the operation, she complained of severe abdominal pain, which nurses reported to her doctor. The doctor (who lived just 10 minutes from the hospital) never showed up. When Diane’s condition worsened, she was placed in intensive care. Her son, himself an M.D., spent the night by her side at the hospital.