Video Friday: only thing we can do is change conditions so no more daughters die

This week, I am posting a video of Ruth Rowan’s testimony to the DC Council about the death of her 22 year old daughter, killed tragically in Dupont Circle while riding her bicycle.

I became acquainted with this story back in 2008, when I happened upon the ghost bike that was laid where Alice was killed, with a farewell written on the tire by her mother.

It was what she said at the end that reminded me of a conversation I had with colleagues earlier in the week (at about 5:30 in the video).

Sometimes people worry (and maybe fear) that involving patients and families not only in care delivery but in the design of a health system will bring anger/discomfort along with it.

These stories are helpful to have, they are a a reminder of ¬†patients and families tend to deal with injury, with a drive and vigor to prevent it for all who come after them. If you see the photograph of the bicycle tire with the farewell, and then the video below, you can see the transformation that occurs. People want to help make things better. It’s wasteful not to accept/cherish this gift.

I agree with the DCist, this testimony will break your heart.

Nothing you … can do will bring Alice back to life; the only thing we can do is try to change conditions so more … Alice Swansons die‚Ķ


Ted Eytan, MD