Baby Jessica 20 Year Anniversary

20 years (and 3 days, I missed it a bit) ago Jessica McClure was brought back to the surface in Midland, Texas after having spent 2 1/2 days in a well. If you don’t remember it you were too young or didn’t have access to a TV.

From the Dallas Morning News:

Jessica McClure Morales says it doesn’t bother her that people still call her “Baby Jessica.” Or that she still has a diagonal scar on her forehead: “It shows who I am, and the fact that I am here and that I could not have been here,” she told NBC’s Today show host Matt Lauer on Monday…

I linked to an article about her graduation from High School in 2004, but didn’t say any more. I personally knew three of the big names in the rescue, Steve Forbes from Paramedic class way, way back (1982-83), Robert O’Donnell from a months’ employment at the Midland Fire Department (1986) and Andy Glasscock, friend of a friend before and after. This isn’t meant to be a name-dropping exercise, more to illuminate that fame can be a curse.

That two of the three have had lives-turned-wrong afterward is well documented (O’Donnell committed suicide and Glasscock is doing time in the pen for sexual assault), and cause is always attributed to their reaction to the fleeting nature of fame. Read the linked articles for details (especially O’Donnells’, it’s exceptional), and take away what you can that keeps you alive and mentally healthy.

There’s a book, The Rainbow’s Shadow: True Stories of Baby Jessica’s Rescue & the Tragedies That Followed by D. Lance Lunsford, available from Amazon.ca. I’ve ordered one.

Cautionary tales for us all. And, congrats to Jessica!

Update 10/18/07: CNN is reading!

Texas Tort Reform: One View from the Legal Side

Of course, when docs and insurance companies say this it’s just people with a financial incentive lining their pockets at the expense of patients.  Now lawyers are pointing out the same thing:

Once suffering from a doctor shortage, the Lone Star State can now brag it has longest wait list of wanna-be MDs in the country.  [GruntDoc: actually, they’re real doctors, just not licensed in Texas yet.]
Medical specialists are flocking to Texas from places like New York and Florida, attracted by new laws curbing frivolous lawsuits and the low malpractice insurance rates they’ve begotten. Austin’s biggest health care crisis today: figuring out how to process the deluge of Texas Medical Board applications to set up shop in our state.

Medical malpractice reform, we now know, is working for Texas.

We mean for the patients. It isn’t working for the trial lawyers, to be sure. But then again, it wasn’t intended to.
Alas, it comes as no surprise that, in light of all this good news, Texas’ lawsuit industry is still angling behind the scenes to bring back our state’s jackpot justice-happy past.

Unsurprisingly plaintiff’s attorneys aren’t taking this lying down, and are back to the courts to try to overturn Texas’ medmal reform.  Read the article for details.

 

via the Kevin, MD news clipping service.