Monday, August 15, 2011

Charlie (aka Mr. Dooley), Can We Talk?

Peanut -

We heard back from St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's office last week.  The gentleman who reached out to your Momma is a wonderful, compassionate man, and a father of two little guys.  Your story has clearly moved him and has given Momma a ray of hope.  An advocate.

I wish I could say the same for rest of Dooley's office and appointees.

The Director of the St. Louis County Department of Health, Dolores Gunn, wrote and sent back a 3-page response to Momma's letter from June.  And, to be honest, her response made things worse.  Let me give you a few of the lowlights:

  1. In her response she tries to outline all the details of the night leading up to your death...but she has all the details wrong.  Hmmmm...isn't this why I'm asking for them to actually contact the families?  To get their information confirmed and correct?
  2. She tries to defend the ME's office, and their extensive knowledge of SUDC...but she refers to it by the wrong name and then proceeds to describe their SIDS education program which is 100% focused on infants under 12-months of age.  And, she acknowledges there are no protocols for cases dealing with a child your age.
  3. She then defends the ME's finding of Tracheo-Bronchitis as the cause, even though, in her own words they really could not determine a cause of death in your case or in a handful of other deaths like yours...and there really wasn't any cellular evidence to support Tracheo-Bronchitis as an actual cause of death.
  4. And...drumroll please...for the cherry on the last paragraph of the letter she acknowledges their "customer service" and communication needs some attention.  Customer service?  I'm sorry, does she think I had an issue returning a pair of shoes?  This is my son, my baby, my Peanut.  This is a matter of loss of a precious life.  This deserves more than customer service.  This deserves the best these people have to offer.  

So, Momma has decided it's time to demand a meeting with Charlie Dooley and Dr. Gunn.  And to demand some action.  Peanut, you know that awesome, fierce stubborn streak you have?  Well, guess where you got it?  Yep, you guessed it.  Momma.

Peanut, you deserve better than this disappointing, poorly written, shoddily researched response from this appointed county representative who apparently has very little accountability to anyone.  Time for a change.  Momma-style.

So, with a fire in my belly and a heart full of powerful Momma love, I send you hugs, forehead bumps and butterfly kisses.  To the moon and back!

- Momma


  1. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

    I've seen various permutations of this quote attributed to Margaret Mead, but the message always rings true. I can only imagine how difficult this fight must be for you ... but know that the battle you are undertaking WILL bring about change, and will be making things better for another family who is dealing with an unthinkable tragedy. The Peanut Effect will continue to spread ...

  2. Lynn...just got chills reading this post! You are an amazing advocate for your little man!

  3. If anyone can bring change and hope for other families in the furture it is you Lynn...Your amazing and Have my full support let me know what I can do ..let it begin!!!