Freddie's Healthcare Events
Meeting with WakeMed CMO, Dr. Lawson
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Meeting with WakeMed CMO, Dr. West Lawson
July 16, 2014

Fred and Eddie meet with WakeMed CMO, Dr. West Lawson and 5A Manager, Pauline Stillman.

We arrived a little early and were sitting on the bench while waiting in the hall of the conference dining rooms at the doctor’s food buffet.  Soon Dr. Lawson and Pauline came around the corner and Dr. Lawson was extremely welcoming, even offering us something drink from the buffet.  We then went in to the conference room reserved for our meeting.  It was quite large for just the four of us.  But we followed Dr. Lawson and Pauline to the end of the set of tables on the right. 

Dr. Lawson seemed to be trying to connect with us with some small chat and then he started with how well Freddie is doing and how remarkable his condition is with being in the hospital for such a long time.  I said we take that as a blessing that Freddie has been able to do so well with the circumstances.  And we feel that the nurses, RTs and techs have done an unbelievable great job with Freddie, we can’t thank them enough for what they do day in and day out for Freddie.

He finally put his focus on the packet of papers he bought in and began with they have a facility that they had been talking with and they had offered Freddie a bed.  He was very careful not to say that Freddie had to go but just ask that we consider what they may have to offer.  He went into a long description of all they had to offer.  I was thinking while he kept talking about all the things this place would do for Freddie; yea, these are the same things we that we’ve begged WakeMed to do, but won’t.  He kept on with his in-depth pitch while we listened and then Eddie asked if the facility was able to get Freddie off the vent.  Dr. Lawson said that if they could support him while on the vent that they would also be able to wean him off the vent.  When Dr. Lawson was finished with his presentation he said he had taking the privilege of printing out their website and he even had created an info page that they had lacked having on their website for our convenience.  He then said that he wished it were closer than 3 hours away in Taylorsville NC but he thought it would be really good for Freddie and ask if we would look into the place and what they could do for Freddie.

We had just listened and when he was done, I said; well, I guess I should say congratulations, I know you all have been working very hard for a very long time to find somewhere to put him.  They acted as if they were taken back and he started saying that he thought we were very fortunate that this place was willing to take Freddie.  I said yea, it sounds good and I will tell you that it sounds just like a place we have been looking for over the last 2 years to get Freddie help with what WakeMed won’t do.  Dr. Lawson looked perplexed; he looked like he didn’t know if he should be insulted or happy that we said we were willing to move Freddie to a facility that would treat him.  I said that we had been doing everything we can to get Freddie help with what he needs that WakeMed won’t provide and stopped in 2012.  However Dr. Lawson started defending WakeMed and the conversation then turned and went down that road.

He started boasting how great WakeMed was and how he agreed with the doctor’s decisions.  We immediately took issue with that and he and WakeMed had stopped all the doctors that were helping Freddie when they went after guardianship.  Eddie started in on him about the truth of the matter and Dr. Lawson picked up on Eddie talking about how Dr. Hart was willing and was treating Freddie, and said yea, he is the doctor you called doctor death.  Eddie and I both corrected him and said, no, that was your Dr. Hayes.  I said, when you stopped Dr. Hart from treating Freddie, after buying out his practice and hired him at the same time you were trying to take guardianship from me, I said that he gave Freddie the death sentence.  We all seemed to now accept and understand the clarification on what had been said about who, when and why.

I asked; the facility has seen Freddie’s medical records?  They said yes they have been providing them to the facility while they have been talking with them over the last several months.  I then said we want all of Freddie’s medical records and asked that he make all of Freddie’s medical records available to us.  He immediately started to reply and Pauline stepped up and said that would be handled at discharge.  You can get them when Freddie is ready to leave.  I said that we had made several formal requests for Freddie’s records but was told that the ones we hadn’t received were unavailable in the system and could not be found.  I said that we want all of Freddie’s medical records including the ones that we have been told were not in the system for some reason.  And we want his respiratory records and progress notes that we have been told are keep with Freddie but no one seems to be able to find.  He then said he would have to refer that to the director of medical records.

I finally said look, we want to work with you and WakeMed.  We know what has happened in the past.  We don’t want to talk about the negatives; we don’t want to dwell on the wrongs of the past.  We want to move forward positively with what Freddie needs and forget the past.  We know that there have been changes in management and we feel that we can work with WakeMed and move forward positively for what is best for Freddie.  Eddie reiterated my statements and added that even Dr. Udekwu had tried to help Freddie many times and had been denied the opportunity.  Of course, Dr. Lawson took issue with that as well.  He adamantly denied any accusation that administration had or would influence any doctor from treating a patient.  He said that if Dr. Udekwu wanted to treat Freddie he could and neither he nor WakeMed would say or be able to do anything about it.  I said we have been requesting that he take over Freddie’s case since 2012 and hasn’t been allowed but rather you demoted him.  Dr. Lawson stood his ground in defending that he and WakeMed administration doesn’t manipulate doctors as we were saying.  I said, so, your saying that Dr. Udekwu can take back over Freddie’s case.  He said that he didn’t think Dr. Udekwu would be willing to do that.  I said I had run into him a couple of weeks ago in the hall and he gave me a different feeling about that and was coming to you all to see if he could get you all to help Freddie and start treating him.  Dr. Lawson said he had no knowledge of that.  I said well he may not be back, he had told me that he would be out for a couple of weeks.  Dr. Lawson agreed but said he thought he was back but had not talked to him.  He said he would be happy to talk to Dr. Udekwu and see if he would want to look at Freddie’s case.  He said that he thought that Dr. Udekwu would want to evaluate Freddie and his records to decide if it was warranted for him to do anything.  Then he would expect that Dr. Udekwu would want to have a meeting with us to discuss his findings and that he, would be fine with that and would facilitate a meeting for us, of course he would have to see if Dr. Udekwu would even be willing to get involved.  I said, we will want to meet with Dr. Udekwu alone without any influence from WakeMed’s administration.  Again, Dr. Lawson took issue with this request and strongly defended that WakeMed would have any influence over how a doctor practices medicine at WakeMed.  He said that Dr. Udekwu doesn’t work for him as being WakeMed’s Chief Medical Officer and he has no capacity to direct him in practicing medicine at WakeMed.  He then went into describing how he is intimidated by Dr. Udekwu’s presents and he was very a very strong man and capable of making any decision about patient care he wants.  We agreed with his description of Dr. Udekwu’s stature and I said the man is of the upmost character that I have a great deal of respect.

So, after all of that Dr. Lawson then redirected back to the facility in Taylorsville.  He said that an opportunity like this of a bed being open was very scarce and he wanted us to look at what they have to offer Freddie and get back with him with a decision by the first of next week.  I said we would do all we can to look into this place and find out as much as we can before that time.  Then I asked that he do all he could to give Dr. Udekwu a chance to look Freddie’s case before this timeframe he had set.  He said he would try to get in touch with Dr. Udekwu today.  Dr. Lawson gave us his business card and asked that we keep in touch.  He said he would call when he heard from Dr. Udekwu.
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