“A Law Firm Way Beyond the Pack”
Nearly two years ago I was at the top of my game. I was an ICU nurse at a large teaching hospital. I was up for a promotion, and preparing to seek an advanced practice degree. In an instant that all changed. I became the patient. My “mild” TBI landed me in a dark room, with blinding headaches, vertigo, memory, cognition, and speech issues. I took medical leave, explaining that I was having balance/vertigo problems. I was in fear of revealing too much. You see, as a medical professional the lines between personal privacy and public safety become blurred. And…despite the popular notion that nurses are completely compassionate, the dirty little secret is that they often “eat their young” and “shoot their wounded”. In life and death situations you need to be able to trust your coworkers. Who wants to work with an ICU nurse who has had a brain injury? Who would want to be their patient? This is where Marc and Kathleen Kearney the firm’s nurse attorney enter my story. But quickly, before I get into that let me bring you up to speed.
Yes, I was injured by an uninsured motorist. Yes, my claim to my own uninsured motorist policy was denied by a leading company that I had been loyal too for over 20 years. Yes, in the end we had to file suit before they would honor my policy. Yes, it was timely, and settled in early mediation. This is what I expected from my law firm and I am grateful.
Here is where my story is different. You see without the skilled navigation of workplace law, HIPPA, and plain advice about avoiding discrimination, I may have lost my professional reputation and risked losing my license. I was unable to work for over a year and a half. I did the ethically right thing stepping down. I didn’t want to make any errors which could have resulted in injury to my patients. If I had tried to go back before then, I would have been reported by my doctor to the health practitioners monitoring board, and the board of nursing. During that time, I was unsure if I would ever work as a nurse again, much less in the ICU, or become an nurse practitioner. I was lost, financially devastated, on the brink of foreclosure. Kathleen Kearney was a light in the dark. She understood the laws, yes, but more than that, she understood what it must be like for me. We shared many emails and phone calls. She encouraged me not to give up on my dream of going back into medicine. She spent countless hours on the phone with my doctors, in order to protect my rights as a both a private citizen and a public professional. These are the actions of a law firm that is way beyond the pack. She was under no obligation to do this. I know that she really cared about me because her actions demonstrated it.
Now healed, tested, retested, I am deemed fit to work in the medical profession by multiple doctors. I have taken a position in a smaller, less acute setting…for now. My reputation remains intact. My HIPPA rights are preserved. My settlement is in my pocket. My home remains mine. My life is back on track. I cannot imagine what my life would be like now without their help.