Freddie's Healthcare Events
WakeMed's CMO, Dr. West Lawson Calls Fred
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
WakeMed's CMO, Dr. West Lawson Calls Fred
July 23, 2014

Dr. Lawson called me to ask how the meeting went the previous evening with Dr. Udekwu.  I expressed my extreme gratitude for both he and Dr. Udekwu looking into helping Freddie.  He then stated that the medications could be weaned and this would take time.  He also stated that an attempt at weaning could take months and that these changes would need to be handled at a facility such as Taylorsville.  He again stated that they feel that it is in Freddie’s best interest to be in a long-term rehab setting as opposed to remain in a hospital setting.  I expressed concern regarding the need for more acute treatments and the availability of those at the facility.  He then began to speak about the SCI and the TBI and the probability of decline over time.  Possible medication changes could take place over time and would be worthwhile.  He stated that he and Dr. Udekwu agreed that it is worth a try to attempt to wean but there is little possibility of success due to the nerve damage to the diaphragm and neck related to the SCI but “it is worth a try”.

Dr. Lawson then turned the conversation directly toward the facility at Taylorsville and repeatedly encouraged me to get down there to see the facility.  He also said that he and Dr. Udekwu were willing to have a conference with the pulmonologist and myself regarding the “hopes and plans” of what could happen with Freddie.  He also stated that he was aware that Dr. Udekwu would not be assuming the care of Freddie but would be more than willing to continue to assist when needed.  I then asked if Dr. Matheis along with some other doctors in the group and Alley (the NP) could take over care of Freddie and attempt to wean Freddie as they have always been very positive and helpful to Freddie.  Dr. Lawson then stated that “as a group”, the Intensivists agreed that they are not willing to attempt to wean Freddie from the vent.  He also then said there are no private pulmonologists that come to WakeMed and the care would have to remain with the Intensivists group.  He then turned the conversation back to the weaning and said that it is very unlikely that the group would change their opinion and reiterated that they would be remaining as Freddie’s doctors.  He again urges me to get down to Taylorsville to see the place.

I again expressed my concern over the overall care of Freddie by the intensivists and how one’s opinion could stand so tall.  We had discussed that we were going to work together to get Freddie what he needed whether it was at the facility or at the hospital but Dr. Lawson is taking that off the table at this point.  He then began to talk about the use of law suits to deal with a dissatisfaction of Freddie’s care.  I told him that wasn’t what I wanted nor was that what I was talking about.  He brought up consults that had been done by Dr. Hayes and Dr. Udekwu.  He said that Dr. Udekwu said that there is no “magic bullet” and no fix for Freddie and that if weaning can be done; it would take a long time.  He stated that the Intensivists would be willing to hear Dr. Udekwu weaning recommendations but would probably be unwilling to implement and that they are the ONE team managing his care.  He again stated that if any weaning is an option, it would need to be done in a long-term rehab facility.

Dr. Lawson asked me again to give Taylorsville a call and get down there, and then call him back to let him know how my visit went.  He said if things went well, he & Dr. Udekwu would talk to the pulmonologist there with me to discuss the history and the hopes and the plans.

I asked Dr. Lawson directly if he and Dr. Udekwu agree that it is worth trying to get Freddie off the vent but with what he is saying; that the implementation of that would not occur at WakeMed.  He said that he didn’t expect a change in care from the group.

Dr. Lawson then said again that the bed availability is short and reminded me that it is the first bed available in two years.  He then again, mentioned my ability to sue.  He reiterated the fact that the group will remain Freddie’s caregivers and there was no one else to take over his care.  He kept referring to the bed offer from Taylorsville and that weaning could be done in the plan of care thereby their pulmonologist.  He said that Dr. Udekwu would be the medical voice with that facility.

Dr. Lawson again said that I need to get down there and see the facility as “time is ticking”.  He also reiterated that Dr. Udekwu voiced his opinion to make medication changes and he would help in assistance with speaking with the doctor at the facility regarding a plan of care there.

The conversation ended with me asking him to please talk to Dr. Feinson conveying my wishes and advocate for Freddie to attempt a weaning off of the vent with all options available.   In turn, he asked me to go to the facility in Taylorsville.

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