Dr. Joel J. Feldman, Plastic Surgeon / Plastic Surgery
I wasted precious time in asking, no begging, for your help thinking that deep down you must have a spark of human compassion for my plight. People told me I was misguided to even want your help. I finally understand they were right. When Rich Bergeron contacted me well over one year ago with his proposal for a book, he was so optimistic about the way my story would end.
At the time, I had already been corresponding with a forensic pathologist I knew I could trust to make arrangements for my own autopsy. This doctor reviewed my medical records and assured me it is possible to identify surgically related damage to medical conditions to which doctors have turned a blind eye. To the uninformed who have never been victimized by the medical profession's duplicity or denied adequate physical examination because thier condition is caused by iatrogenic surgical injury, the autopsy is all victims have left to prove they were denied proper treatment. A lot of good it does the person whose quality of life could be greatly improved with proper treatment they will never receive.
Rich spent enough time with me, even accompanied me to a doctor's appointment, to get a good sense of the subterfuge involved in my care. He contacted the pathologist, and after discussing my situation, this concerned doctor, who refused to accept any payment whatsoever for his work, concluded that they would work together on the book project, hoping that it would somehow change the way doctors blacklist patients with iatrogenic injury and shed a more realistic light on the way cosmetic surgery patients are mistreated. That is when he contacted you.
I had not read your letter to Rich until recently.. and that is when I realized that you and doctors like you will never change, at least not in my lifetime. Certainly, you intended to keep your mind firmly shut regarding my case. What your letter conveyed to me is that the most important thing to you, and every other doctor like you, is never, under any circumstance, admitting you made a mistake. 99.9% of doctors are exactly like you, and those who think they aren't only haven't been challenged regarding thier mistakes.
So while your numerous happy and grateful patients sing your praise and express their appreciation for your exemplary care, you cannot accept the fact that you are both capable of error and certainly will never consider admitting you may have been wrong or willing to make amends. When I read your response to Rich, I realized that you would rather allow me to die, you would literally prefer that my life be cut short, sacrificed, than even agree to examine me.. not treat me.. just examine me. So I chose to post this letter for public scrutiny, with my comments pointing out your every false statement. I do not care about the thousands of patients who rightfully will thank you until thier dying day for saving their lives. I know they are justified in that praise. But all your good works do not change the glaring fact that given the opportunity to admit your past transgressions in MY case, you chose to perpetuate the lies until I am dead, and in the same breathe you have the audacity to say you care about what happens to me!
So here is the letter and my final words to you, because I am smart enough to know I cannot survive more than a matter of days, a few weeks if I am "lucky". I am aware of the clumsy manner in which have expressed myself here. I am way too close to death to be fussy about grammar and my manner of expression. I don't know ANYONE who would have survived this long, which I have done through my own resourcefulness. If there is any justice, the book will be written and will be a benchmark in breaking down the White Wall of Silence. You and every doctor you influenced with your lies will be responsible for my dying with hatred in my heart. I am honest enough to admit that it is impossible for me to feel otherwise. How can I not hate those who would rather preserve thier "track record" than open the doors that could save my life ...MY LIFE.. You could have done that with simple HUMILITY.. not an operation, but just an honest and thorough examination and evaluation of my damaged anatomy which I could present to a surgeon in India, because I certainly don't have the money for an operation here.. in spite of having full MassHealth coverage which is supposed to cover treatment for any health condition I have.. Rich was present when my ENT doctor suggested a tracheotomy.. and he is not the first doctor to present this option to me. My pulmonologist also said it was an option and did not have to be permanent but to help me until I found a surgeon to operate on me. This would seem like a practical suggestion except for one glaring problem... which is that I find the suggestion of a tracheotomy incongruous without a doctor explaining in detail and demonstrating with proper diagnostics and appropriate physical examination, exactly WHAT IS OBSTRUCTING MY AIRWAY AND WHY. I certainly know precisely what and why, and have been surviving on my own inventiveness and pure instinct to LIVE. But I cannot do that any longer. What I have been doing is IMPOSSIBLE to continue any longer. It doesn't take much imagination or analysis, for that matter, to understand why. You need only look at the pictures of the way I have been forced to keep my airway open and jaw closed simply to sit up straight enough to drive.
Surgery is the ONLY possible means of saving my life. My neurologist understood that, which his records reflect. It is the reason he continually encourage me to return to my ENT doctor.. But that experience was the end of the line for me.. and Rich knows the truth about that because he was present, and I'm willing to bet he will never forget that experience after I am gone.
I am nothing to you except a life that had a chance to be saved, which you would prefer to see over so you can go on with your own life, free of the thorn in your side called Lucille. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~