By Consumers For Quality Care, on February 19, 2020
A new report by KPLR in St. Louis tells the story of one woman’s struggle to get a life saving surgery for her husband.
Shannon Harrison fought for years to get her husband, Clark Harrison, a kidney and liver transplant surgery in the St. Louis area. The family was repeatedly denied by dozens of hospitals. The reason most cited by the hospitals was that Clark was too weak to get the surgery.
“When you’re being denied for reasons such as you’re too weak – of course you’re too weak — or other minor reasons, it just its really discouraging because you feel hopeless,” Shannon said.
Shannon found herself in a catch-22. Hospitals were saying her husband was too weak to get the surgery that would restore his strength. Unlike many patients with Clark’s condition, it was not a donor that he was lacking. His daughter Jessica had already volunteered to donate hers. Still, hospitals denied them.
“I have a kidney,” Thomas said. “I just want somebody to put it in.”
Shannon said she believed hospitals were denying them because they feared the operation could hurt their ratings scores. The Harrisons stressed that they knew the risks, and were willing to sign “whatever” to convince the hospitals to do the surgery.
After going through dozens of hospitals, IU Health in Indianapolis said they would do Clark’s surgery. Shannon drove him four hours there for it.