Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Horrific conditions led to two preventable deaths

By Louise Kinross

Two stories about horrific, entirely preventable deaths of people with disabilities crossed my desk.

In one case, a British woman with Down syndrome died of sepsis—a blood infection—in 2015 because nurses at the home she lived in left a blocked catheter in her for months. Her name was Sandra Miller.

In the other, a 13-year-old Wisconsin girl with who was unable to walk, talk or care for herself, died of sepsis after her mother abandoned her for days during the Memorial Day weekend last year. She was found by police in a diaper weighing 1.25 pounds. She had a rare syndrome called Wolf-Hirschhorn and lived alone with her mother. Her name was Brianna Gussert. She is pictured above with her father Greg.

These were slow, painful, entirely unnecessary deaths. Let's give Sandra and Brianna a voice in death that they obviously didn't have while alive.