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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


DISCLAIMER: Over the last several weeks, I have been encouraged to write regularly about the accident from 2004. I am working my way through writing a book about the incident. So, every Tuesday, I've taken the opportunity to write, remember and share snapshots of that tragic event.

It's impossible for me to look back over the last six years, to see all that God has allowed to come from Sarah and Josh's deaths, and not think about Wayne. Wayne was the Vice President of Risk Management at the hospital where Josh was taken in Savannah. It was Wayne who was given the unenviable task of how to address my family when it was made clear that the hospital had made a tragic error in medication.

It wasn't till five years later (just last Spring, in fact) that I would become aware of what a vital role Wayne played in "bringing good from evil." In his position as VP, Wayne was charged with handling the events surrounding Josh's death. Immediately upon discovering their mistake, Wayne was faced with a choice. Should he blame the death on Josh's injuries or take the path of openness and transparency regarding the tragic mistake? It would have been very easy to place the blame on the car accident and hope that our family would accept that explanation without ever challenging his statements.

Wayne refused. He believed that honesty and openness was and still is the best policy. He knew the risk he was taking by putting all the information out there. He knew that it could lead to large lawsuits and awful publicity for the hospital. But he also believed the long term results would be worth whatever journey the hospital had to take. So, it was Wayne who, with tremendous candor, approached my brother-in-law that April Wednesday morning to say, "Mr. Solomon, our hospital has made a huge mistake. We are very sorry."

Here's where it gets really interesting for me. It was also Wayne's idea to invite me back to the hospital for that first presentation to their staff. He believed that the face of a victim's family would mean far more than statistics and charts. There were some of his peers who believed it would be a huge mistake to invite me back to the campus. They felt like, at best, it would stir up lots of bad blood and, at worst, it could mean very bad public relations. Wayne proved them wrong forcing many to admit that his "gut feeling" about this decision was right on target.

I believe Wayne, a fellow Christ follower, was used by God to open these doors. Because Wayne held to his convictions that honesty was always best, I was given the opportunity to help God bring good from the bad (Romans 8:28).

Today, Wayne is my friend. Though we have shared a few meals and the platform at a few conferences together, my admiration of Wayne is based on the common belief that we all--whether we acknowledge it or not--live under the watchful eye of a loving God. It was that belief that drove Wayne to stay the course with his values. It's that belief that leads me to believe that Josh's story must be told to any who will listen. There are still others who need to know, who need to hear, who need to feel the love of God who is big enough. Wayne is a "hero" of mine. I have no doubt that he would shrug off any attention given him. That's okay. It's just another reason why I respect him so much.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I have been reading your blog mostly for myself but this one i intend to forward. As parents it is often difficult to get the point across that the most difficult thing to do sometimes is just be honest. Honesty can be liberating even when it is hard and not the easiest route to take. By doing the right thing and being honest Wayne never has to question his motives or live with 'what ifs'.