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Willie McNear - Better off Dead

"Willie's better off dead." That's what Willie's doctors said. "Why don't you let nature take its course?" That's what they said at the hospital. But his parents loved him, and they fought for Willie's life. When the IV bottles ran dry, they made the nurses start new ones. When Willie had a fever, they made sure that the doctors started antibiotics.

You see, Willie was born with a particular type of sugar problem, a congenital form of diabetes. Basically, his body didn't know how much insulin to make. A grown-up can feel the effects of low sugar and can eat a candy bar to correct, but Willie couldn't do that as a newborn. One night, when Willie was two months old, it was his Dad’s turn to feed Willie. As he did, one of Willie’s legs started to twitch. Having been warned to watch for any possible sign of a seizure, his parents immediately called their pediatrician who advised they take him to the hospital. She said she would meet them there, but never did.

Willies parents immediately rushed him to the emergency room. The doctor on duty suspected a low blood sugar, but he went off duty without checking the test result. Other doctors and nurses passed Willie's ER cubicle without coming in. They forgot about him. Willie laid in that cubicle for three hours with a critically low blood sugar, and no doctor treated him until after his heart stopped beating. He coded, and only then did doctors and nurses come running. But the code caused brain damage, and now Willie needs expensive treatments. So when they said, "Willie is better off dead," what they really meant was that they (the doctor’s and the hospital) would be better off if they could bury their mistake rather than pay for his rehabilitation.

That's when Willie's parents came to us. We fought for Willie when the hospital hired fancy experts to say that his brain damage was a "coincidence." We got Willie those treatments so that Willie's parents can care for him and love him.

The doctors were wrong when they said that Willie would be better off dead. They were as wrong about that as they were wrong when they neglected Willie. Only God knows what's best for Willie. We are proud of what we accomplished on Willie's behalf.

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