As Kimmy mentioned in the overnight comments, today is the one-year anniversary of the death of her sister Christy. In that comment, she thanked us, her blog family, for being there for her through the rough times, and we responded with some heart thingies. Because, really, what can you say?
I still can't think of anything to say that doesn't sound hopelessly trite, but I felt the need to post something marking the day. It occurs to me that this would be an appropriate time to post a link to Concerned Consumers Advocating Safer Health (C.C.A.S.H.), a web site Kimmy started working on in the months following Christy's death. Sometimes tragedy inspires us to action--even though we can't bring a loved one back, it just somehow helps when that tragedy becomes a springboard for action and reform. The following is from the "About" page of C.C.A.S.H.:
C.C.A.S.H. stands for Concerned Consumers Advocating Safer Health & Care, the name of this organization. The name was chosen because it is also a person's initials, as you can see in the graphic at the top of each page. Christy Nicole Cash is her full name and she died Nov. 5th, 2004 from multiple hospital-acquired infections. Every struggle Christy Cash endured, each infection that attacked her body, every "adverse event" and error was preventable and I accept that I am partly to blame. Please don't take that the wrong way, Stage of grief or survivor guilt is not what I am speaking of. I share the blame because of my own apathy and ignorance surrounding hospital-infections. I didn't know much about the issues at hand and honestly, I paid no attention because I never faced anything like it. Apathy and ignorance.(Click)
Our seed was planted by Christy during her hospital stay. Off the ventilator, each time, Christy questioned the care she was receiving and the source of her conditions. It was a guessing game then because not one physician let her or her family know that these infections were, in fact, all hospital-acquired. She wondered how the other patients might be doing. Not knowing for certain she would say "I know they're doing this to me... can we hold them accountable?" She often asked our mother to chart problems (needles laying on the floor) and photograph the "evidence". Our answer to Christy everytime she questioned was "Yes, we can hold them accountable. As soon as you get better and get out of here, we will!" Obviously she did not getter and get out of the hospital but our reply to her still stands. We can and we will hold "them" accountable. You can read more about Christy's hospital stay below.
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