Friday, August 22, 2008

So Sad - All the Way Around . . .

Thanks to my blog-buddy Jen (my fellow Italian-American with whom I agree that SOME people should sleep wid-da fishes), I was made aware of a lawsuit that has come against the Danbury Hospital and Dr. Zuccala - an institution and a man that I feel like I owe at least twenty to thirty years of my life to come to.

A few disclaimers before I get in to why I'm actually addressing this in a post.

1 - I started this blog at the request of the Danbury Hospital and specifically the Center for Weight Loss Sugery at Danbury Hospital. That being said they have never once told me what I can or can not blog about or how I should handle topics or issues. I am NOT a spokesperson for the hospital, my surgeon or any one else in the tri-state area. I am just a man who had gastric bypass seventeen months ago and agreed to share his experience with the world (or those silly enough to read about it).

2 - I have never once (and I have 280+ posts of experience here) ever said that I don't feel bad for people who suffer following gastric bypass (my friend Melissa's husband Joe's experience through the deaths that come as a result of gastric bypass complications.

3 - I do not know Lisa Ann Cataldo or her children or her widower, as far as I know but my deepest sympathies go out to her survivors.

Okay - that being said - I want to be very clear for any one out there that is considering gastric bypass and sees an article about the death of someone who underwent the procedure and it has given them pause.

Don't let this article scare you off!

Let it remind you of just how serious this procedure is.

Let it serve as a primer on just what is on the line when you lay on that table. Let you remember that life is fragile and fleeting and there are no guarantees in life . . . no matter how much you weigh, what you do to control your weight or no matter how far modern medicine has come or goes . . . we're all going to die. And none of us will be "ready" and our families won't be "happy" but you have to do ALL that you can to have the longest, happiest and healthiest life possible.

I won't get in to the lawsuit itself. I'm no doctor. I've never seen the health records and the article and the article doesn't really help me feel "educated" on this case (if ONLY this were an episode of Law and Order (smile)!) it simply an account of the lawsuit and Mrs. Cataldo's surgery through death experience). There is no mention of industry standard practices. No mention that the Danbury Hospital is a nationally-recognized and rewarded facility. No mention of any of the hundreds of successful procedure Dr. Zuccala has under his proverbial belt and no mention of federally recognized statistics on likelihood of death from complications from the surgery, etc.

If you want to REALLY see how hotly contested this procedure is in the public eye - read the comments on the article (80+ last I checked - and they get more "hot headed" the later you go).

Wow! There are some really, really uneducated people out there with terrible things to say about a grieving widower, a talented surgeon, a medical procedure and a deceased, morbidly obese woman who tried one last resort to have a longer and healthier life with her husband and kids. It's just SAD to see the way people tear in to others.

PLEASE - if you have had this surgery, are considering this surgery, are EDUCATED about the procedure or want to share some "love" for Dr. Zuccala in a public forum - post a comment and tell your friends to do the same! Access the comments section of the story by clicking here, scrolling down, registering and posting a comment.

And, PLEASE, my fellow GBers . . . to end the sadness of it all do NOT challenge or take on the stupidity. Try to meet it with some constructive, educated insight and some sympathy for ALL involved - including those who don't get this procedure or morbid obesity and the way it plagues the body in general.

In the meantime . . . I'm thinking happy thoughts for you and I THANK YOU, Dr. Zuccala for all you've done for me and every other patient that has laid on the table under your skilled hands . . . no matter the outcome.

The hospital, based on my experience in public relations, will probably NOT be happy that I'm addressing this lawsuit here. If they INSIST - I will remove this post but not without some hurt feelings and complaining (smile).

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