Broken Brother

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So last month my brother (not Baby Brother) fell out of a tree. He was trimming a big oak and one of the branches was resting on the roof and he was trying to get rid of it. My SIL was getting a manicure, but the guy next door was working in the yard and they were talking over the fence and then my brother fell off the 12-ft. ladder. He fell on his butt and his left wrist, breaking his arm so badly that he said it was like the scene in Harry Potter where Harry's bone disappears. The neighbor called my SIL, who raced home, took my brother to the ER. They set his arm poorly (turns out part of the bone was CRUSHED) and blew off his concerns about his back. Wouldn't x-ray it or anything. He went to a specialist the following Monday, then went in for hand surgery on Wednesday, but was throwing up so they couldn't do the surgery. He went for a CAT scan on Thursday, where he sat miserably and was appalled by the lack of concern any of the staff showed him when he told them he just couldn't sit up anymore. Finally he had the tests done, but didn't hear the results till the following week. He had the hand surgery that week, but still couldn't get anyone to listen to him about his back. He can't stand up more than 15 minutes without excruciating pain.

Last week my son went to work for him (my brother has his own AC business and when he doesn't work, he doesn't make money. He just started in October and doesn't have employees) and told me they couldn't finish the job because my brother was hurting so bad.

This week he went for a second opinion, and indeed he has two broken vertebrae and 3 bulging discs. The CAT scan results had been filed with the insurance, but not looked at, apparently, and my brother has been trying to tough it out. After his hand surgery, once he was out of pain pills, they wouldn't give him anymore, thinking he wouldn't need them for his hand, and he didn't, but did for his back. So he's been a week with a broken back and no pain pills!

Now he can't be evaluated till April 16 (ANOTHER week) and then they decide what to do. Meanwhile, he's not working and has no income. (My SIL is a vice principal and she has the insurance, so they have SOME money, but she doesn't make more than me and we have the same house payment, which takes nearly one of my checks.) How scary is that??

So my brother is thinking about calling a lawyer. Do you think he has a case?

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mary, I'll ask my personal resident lawyer when he comes home tonight. If he starts drooling,, we'll know your brother has a case :-)

chris

Julie said...

I'm more in favor of finding all those... those... PEOPLE (you know what I'm REALLY calling them) and giving THEM a couple broken vertebra each.

Medical malpractice is a weird area of the law and depends a great deal on the state laws in the area, but if I were him I'd DEFINITELY talk to someone and see if they think he has a case. He SHOULD have a case, for sure.

I hope he finds a decent doctor and feels better soon. Tell him to lay off the soda, it helps the bones to heal.

Joanna K. Moore said...

Mar, I'm so sorry about your brother...my dad also has broken vertebrae right now, and I know the kind of pain he has endured. (((Mar)))

J

marybeth said...

Does he have a case? probably.
Can he get a lawyer to pick it up? Probably not. Since Texas passed the $125,000 limit on malpractice very few cases are being picked up. My friend's sister had back surgery the week before the law went into effect. The doctor messed up, punctured a hole in her siatic (sp?) nerve. She woke up from the surgery screaming and was in horrible pain for months. She's disabled now because she can't sit for any length of time without excrutiating pain, she can't lift things, she can't walk long distances. She doesn't take pain pills any more because she was addicted to them after the first year. It took her YEARS to get a lawyer to pick up the case. Same with the local man who made national headlines after the doctor "accidentally" cut off his penis. Texas malpractice law sucks for victims. All that said, it wouldn't hurt him to try.

MaryF said...

Thanks, Chris and Julie. Julie, I have a feeling BB would follow your line of thought exactly! What's so scary is that he's continued trying to work and wondering why he's not getting better, and losing income!

Thanks for the hugs, J!

Mary Beth, that's so frustrating. I bet you're right about him finding someone to take the case. I mean, it's not like they can go after who CAUSED the accident, because, well, he did. (Silly monkey boy)

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I'm a mom, a wife, a teacher and a writer. I have five cats and a dog to keep me company. I love bookstores and libraries and Netflix - movies are my greatest weakness.
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