“Rowan is uncooperative” Dr. Raymond Fripp

These labels: “uncooperative”, “agitated” are so commonly used to justify unnecessary sedation and use of anesthesia when clear alternatives are present, especially for children who are different from the norm.

Rowan was our beautiful, outgoing, gentle and cooperative son:

Not only is Rowan sitting calmly in the canoe, he is also wearing a life jacket - two things that many other children would protest.

Not only is Rowan sitting calmly in the canoe, he is also wearing a life jacket – two things that many other children would protest.

ekg-rowan

Rowan UNSEDATED for an EKG. No tears. No screaming. No need for sedation.

big-headset

Rowan calmly listening with oversized headphones on his ears.

bunny

Rowan was unphased by the large Easter Bunny sitting next to him – notice his tiny hand on the bunny’s leg. Many small children fear the fur characters – not Rowan.

 

“Rowan is uncooperative”
These are the words that the hospital is using to justify not using (not even attempting to use)  an IV catheter, or any another precautions or monitoring before the careless use of general anesthesia.
These are the words that the hospital is using to justify the unnecessary use of general anesthesia for a diagnostic procedure.
Rowan did nothing to deserve this description, other than that he looked different than you or I. Nothing other than being born with Williams Syndrome.

Rowan was happy, playing, and cooperative before anesthetic induction. He was cooperative and without tears as the anesthesia began to flow into his body.

Rowan regularly visited doctors throughout his life, and cried occasionally, just like every other kid.  He cried: 1. Once when he had to fast for 15 hours (12:00 am to 3:30pm) and cried because he was (very) hungry, 2. Once because he had an ophthalmology appointment that lasted for five hours, 3. When he was put on an infant scale (he was happy once he got big enough for a big kid scale), and 4. ONCE (out of five cardiology appts) because he was initially scared of Dr. Raymond Fripp. He did not cry for the pediatrician, Rady’s own ophthalmologist, Rady’s own geneticist, or Rady’s own physical therapist, though he did not prefer the dentist.

Oh, and he cried at the grocery store when he didn’t get the food he wanted.

Rowan sat still and happily for blood draws without a tear, received ultrasounds without sedation, and was fascinated by whirring machines. Rowan flirted with nurses, and relaxed in my lap many times when his heart was listened to, he had his blood pressure read, or he received an EKG. Rowan consistently received positive notes from his therapists and teachers about his cooperative nature and willingness to participate.

“You do not have the right to say to a person: I don’t see you the way you are, I want to see you as I would be more comfortable seeing you.” Jane Elliot

“Don’t deny differences. Accept them, appreciate them, recognize them, and cherish them. They are extremely important.” Jane Elliot