Meet Tanya. Her 17 year old daughter Jess died as consequence of medical errors. She had fainting spells for 4 years and neurologists claimed they were seizures. The family found out about the prolonged QT syndrome, but the doctors refused to listen to them. Finally Jess was seen by a cardiologist who claimed she did not have prolonged QT syndrome. Five of her tests were misread. After Jess died the cardiologist reviewed the Holter monitor, and it revealed she had the syndrome. Genetic analysis revealed her father carried the gene.

Jess died because her doctors refused to LISTEN and failed to properly review her tests. Patients and families can serve as an effective resource by researching possible causes of the patient’s illness, as Tanya and her family did. Physicians and families have the same goal to heal the patient. In the ideal world they should form a true interdependent team. In effective teams all members are respected and their opinions valued. Imagine if the physicians who cared for Jess had been open to the family’s suggestion that she had prolonged QT syndrome, and allied with the family to explore this possibility. Jess would be alive today. I have found so often that effective healthcare is not about aptitude, but about attitude.

Tanya has dedicated the last 6 years to driving changes in the Canadian health system and she will never stop. Every day she thinks about her beautiful daughter Jess. And she will continue her quest until our systems of healthcare delivery are healed. View her website to understand how she is trying to improve patient care

Watch her video. I agree with every recommendation!  And I will never forget Jess. After you watch this video you also will carry her story in your heart.

We all must work together to end stories like Jess’s.