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Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Mom Forgives Daughter's Killer; Pair to Work Together

A 13-year old girl is shot dead by a stupid classmate showing off his stepfather's gun on a bus.  The young man, Jordyn Howe, was fooling around with the gun, tried to fire it but it wouldn't shoot, so he pointed it at his friend “Jina” Guzman-DeJesus and pulled the trigger ---and the gun went off and killed Jina.  Absolutely stupid mistake.   Almost unforgiveable. The girl's mother was grief stricken and enraged, and wanted the judge to throw the book at Jordyn. But, then Ady Guzman-DeJesus (Jina's Mom), Jordyn, and the judge in the case sat down to talk....Jordyn apologized for his mistake, and Ady forgave him.  Then, Ady proposed a plea deal: Jordyn will serve one year in juvenile detention, and during that year Jordyn and her will tour the state of Florida talking about the dangers of guns.  What a powerful story.

I know it's not med-mal, but the similarities are striking.  Stupid, maddening mistakes lead to injuries and deaths, and families want revenge.  But then the two sides have a chance to talk, an apology is given, the anger leaves the room, and creative and meaningful solutions are proposed that can bring good out of bad.  With the disclosure movement, we've seen similar stories like this in healthcare, but we need more.  Clinicians need to be encouraged (and trained) how to have these difficult discussions, and the first post-event steps for patients and families need to be back to their doctor.  Want to lower med-mal claims in medicine?  Forget about legislative fixes, and instead focus on keeping consumers and clinicians connected post-event.  This stuff works.

Ady said forgiveness brought her peace and working with Jordyn will keep her daughter's name alive.   Amen.

Here is the link for the Ady and Jordyn's story: http://gma.yahoo.com/mother-embraces-daughters-killer-court-121328069--abc-news-topstories.html?vp=1.

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