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Each year 250,000 people die due to medical errors. That is equivalent to a 3 jumbo jets crashing every two days.

My mother had severe stomach pains. She went to many doctors. They told her, “There is nothing wrong with you.” She was dismissed. They prescribed an antipsychotic medication, Thorazine medication. Within a year she died of stomach and esophageal cancer. She was 38 years old. I was 12.

Years later, my elderly father was diagnosed with colon cancer after months of a delayed diagnosis. He was healthy for his age and still had his great sense of humor. After surgery he never regained consciousness. I asked, “why?”. “What happened? Even as a physician I never got an answer. “It could have been a stroke,” I was told.

I stayed with him in the ICU for days. Then I went home to get some rest. After I fell asleep the phone rang. It was his doctor. Dr. M. told me my dad had died. Of course, I felt terrible. I wasn’t there. I had left. I called my sons to ask them to be pall-bearers. I dozed a little. In the early morning I called the hospital to let them know the name of the funeral home. I said, “I am calling about Stan Norling.” The nurse said, “he is doing better, his blood pressure is up and he is stable.”

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