It’s hard to put my first day in Napa into words. It was fun yet emotional, exhilarating yet exhausting.
Perhaps most striking was our screening of the Lewis Blacksmith documentary and discussion with his mother Helen Haskell. I feel so appreciative that Helen was here to share her family’s tragic story and that she has been able to turn their incredible misfortune into such an important learning opportunity.
Throughout the video, I continued to notice how astute Helen was to her Lewis’s worsening condition. Despite being such a vigilant advocate for her son’s care, his downward trajectory continued.
While watching, I found myself reflecting on the patients I have been working with this summer at the University of Chicago. The patient population is unique in that many have very poor health literacy and do not have family or friends to serve as health care advocates. It is frightening that so much onus falls on patients and their support system to advocate for appropriate care. This is especially disheartening because many patients don’t have this luxury and even when such a system is in place, as with Lewis, tragedy can still strike.