Have you ever experienced a moment when you look around and think, “How in the world am I here?” Yesterday was one of those days.
I found myself in front of a United States federal judge, across from the attorneys of one of the largest hospital systems in the country, with a courtroom full of new friends who battle similar serious airway challenges standing alongside me. Our case is the first of its kind in the history of our country, one in which we question a hospital’s right to deselect a patient population through abandonment.
We currently wait the order of the judge concerning whether our case falls under the jurisdiction of the state court or federal court. Either way, we present a topic that affects all Americans - can a publicly funded hospital refuse care because of the type of illness or injury you present - and we would so appreciate your support and prayers.
As we wait out this legal loophole the defendants have motioned for, some of Dr. Castellanos’ patients are currently leaving the state as patient refugees, seeking urgent care. Many others are awaiting the next round of procedures for Dr. C or other equally qualified and experience physicians to remove trachs, reconstruct vocal cords, resect granulomas, improve the integrity of the airway with dilation, and more. Most commonly among our group is the constant threat of emergency with conditions such as pneumonia and acute airway stenosis. The defendant attorneys pointed out that the 2 patients filing suit on behalf of the group haven’t encountered emergency yet. You can imagine how blood boiled in that courtroom.