We get this question all the time, and people who are afraid to ask, wonder.

It’s okay to ask.  We did, too.

We were so frustrated, so at our wits end, that we sought the help of a dear friend, and she brought us to her dear friend:  a lawyer.  Lucky for us, this lawyer did not have a shred of the qualities that lawyers often get labeled with.  He was kind, he was patient, he listened, and he listened some more.  And he knew Rowan.  He had never met Rowan, but he had heard a lot about him, and our family, since before he was born.

He talked to us for hours.  And hours.  At 5:00 am, with a cup of coffee, because our daughter was asleep and safe from our voices, our anger, and our tears.  And he did it all without asking for a single thing in return, except to hear more about Rowan.

And he understood.  Our goals for ourselves.  Our goals for change.  Our goals for kids just like Rowan.

I wish that I could shout this man’s name from the rooftops, but I won’t, because I don’t think he wants me to.

We now believe that lawsuits rarely elicit change.  Many end up in mediation, with survivors still wondering the truth of what really happened, and left, after (sometimes) years of  recalling brutal memories, silenced by confidentially agreements and wondering whether their lawsuit made any impact on the doctors, hospital, or the medical system.

We have met many bereaved parents who filed lawsuits, won, and still feel years later that no change was made. For example, we now know of another child who died at anesthetic induction. That family filed a lawsuit, and then had to sign a confidentiality agreement when the lawsuit was complete. Could Rowan still be alive if their story had been allowed to be shared widely, and their hospital had been transparent? Probably. Yes, their lawsuit elicited change in one hospital, but it did nothing for Rowan just a few states away.

No, it doesn’t always happen this way, but it happens a lot.  Certainly more often than we had ever imagined.
We think that this video puts a bereaved parent’s perspective into words far better than we could.  Though our situations differ vastly in some ways, many of the sentiments are the same:

We don’t know what the future will bring, but we know that a lawsuit, if necessary, would be one of the last options we would choose.