Friday, January 9, 2009

Be an Advocate; Save a Life

How many of us get to say we've saved a life? Perhaps a lot of doctors, but how many of the rest of us?

I have had a great career. I have litigated and won multi-million dollar cases. I have written legislation that made a huge different in the lives of many people. I have ensured that countless patients have had access to care. And I have written books that have meant something to people.

But boy oh boy (why not girl oh girl?), the sensation you get when you know you've saved a life.

I've been working on an insurance appeal for a very young woman with a very quickly progressing neurological disease that, in the space of only a few months, took her ability to walk unassisted, to see (and she's a writer), and to speak the words she is thinking. She was deteriorating rapidly. As the appeal sat, pending, waiting for someone to pay attention, she was fading away.

Well, today we got our decision: WE WON!!!

I don't know if she could die from what she has, but I know that she quickly was becoming disabled by it. I know that the first-line treatments failed. I know that my appeal was her best hope.

I recently wrote about how I felt when I heard one of our former clients passed away. Well, today is the antidote. THIS is why I do what I do.

You lawyers out there at big firms taking home big pay checks can have all that. I'll take saving a life -- or at least, the quality of a life -- any day. Jennifer


  1. Congrats to you and your client for winning the case!

  2. Jennifer,

    My family and I are indebted to you for the work you've done on our behalf. Unless you've seen Jennifer in action, no one could believe how much time, passion, and energy Jennifer put into our case. It was a timely, stressful process. But thanks to Jennifer, it was inspirational as well.

    And thanks to Jennifer, we beat the system, my hope is renewed, my mom is relieved, and I start my chance at recovery this week.

    I'm a writer, and there aren't enough adjectives in the English language to describe how amazing Jennifer and her work for people like me are.

    With infinite gratitude, amazement, and YAY Jennifers,

  3. Jennifer,

    Melanie is the wordsmith in the family and I can not speak as eloquently as she, but I can say that as her mom, I now feel like I can breath once again, my heart is not so heavy, I am filled with hope, I smile more and it's all because Kris McFall reached out to me from where ever I posted a comment, connected me with the amazing, hard-working, tireless person you are..working on behalf of people you've never met and that you may never see face to face.

    You are truly a special person. May all of your dreams come true- for yourself and the people for whom you advocate.


  4. Jennifer;

    I know that you are proud for providing hope and strength to Melanie and her family. Although, you absolutely have provided them with renewed hope and willingness to fight on and beat this condition; you have really affected so many more people. This girl Melanie that you helped out has the potential to touch and affect so many other people with her words and her passion. You have given her the hope and chance to carry this fight further and hopefully have given her the path to recovery that she so much deserves. As cliche as it might sound you have made us all more human and not just a number on a page on someone's desk in some insurance office. Congrats and great work. The person you advocated for is truly amazing and if she is given the chance will truly touch all the people she comes across.

  5. You're all so generous in your praise. thank you. But know that the reason I posted this is to encourage others to do what I do. If every lawyer in the healthcare field would do one free insurance appeal a year, it would make a huge difference. The more I can spread the word about how rewarding the work is, the more -- I hope -- others will give it a try. Jennifer