By Rolando Larraz
Las Vegas Tribune
For these born and raised in the Catholic faith there is nothing more depressing than to find oneself faced with the necessity to write against people or organizations of one’s own faith.
Dignity Health — as practiced at St Rose Dominican hospitals— has been guided by the vision and core values of the Adrian Dominican Sisters for nearly 70 years.
History tell us that a group of seven Adrian Dominican Sisters who had arrived in Adrian, Michigan, in the late 1800s from Germany agreed to come to southern Nevada in 1947. They arrived to serve the Henderson community. Other Sisters continue to do the same today at the three St. Rose Dominican hospitals in southern Nevada.
St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, it is said, exist in a culture of quality, of compassion, of dedicated community service, and the enduring core values of dignity, justice, collaboration and excellence. At least that is the way the hospital board members describe the properties, as the community’s only “not-for-profit,” faith-based hospital system.
Numerous people have the tendency to confuse the meaning of dignity with respect, which is totally erroneous.
Social workers employed by the hospitals don’t have the slightest idea of the meaning of the words respect and dignity.
The story you are about to read is sad, but very real. The story of Istvan Sakac (in English he is called Stephen) and his son Tony started this sad journey in 1990, when he was only 16 years of age.
After a field trip with his school, Tony came home feeling sick; he had an earache and a sore throat, was very tired and very sleepy and stopped eating. Stephen took Tony to the doctor’s office three different times in nine days. A Dr. Diamond looked at him for five minutes and immediately diagnosed, “It’s only the flu.”
The third time Tony was taken to Dr. Diamond, the hospital concluded that it was nothing else but the flu.
By that time Tony couldn’t walk, and Stephen told the doctor that if it was the flu, in nine days he should have been feeling better instead of worse.
That infuriated the doctor, and jumping from his chair he told the concerned father, “You are not the doctor, you are just a parent. I am the doctor and I say that he has a bad case of flu and nothing else.”
He proceeded to call the hospital security and throw them both out of the emergency room as you throw out a bag of garbage.
Doctors don’t like to admit that they make mistakes, but they need to accept the fact that many times they do make drastic mistakes that can mean a person’s life.
A person doesn’t need to attend medical school to think properly. Tony had taken a field trip; where did the school take the student? Was there a possibility that a tick bit Tony? Most diseases from ticks also give you flu-like symptoms and paralysis.
The next day, on his 16th birthday, Tony developed what appeared to be an epileptic fit. Stephen immediately took Tony to the hospital because he was having seizures nonstop.
After four weeks, two doctors came into the room with a set of papers and money on hand and stated: “We are sorry, your son is clinically brain dead and he is gone; he has, at the most, one week to live; he is dying.” Not thinking about the suffering of that father, the two doctors, the very same ones who supposedly took the Hippocratic Oath, which requires a new physician to swear to uphold specific ethical standards, continued saying, “We give you three days to kiss him goodbye, but you must sign these papers to donate his body for scientific studies. We are giving you $2,000 to go home and forget your son.”
It was 1991 when Stephen took his son home; he claims that Tony was like a wall, he couldn’t move; he was like a vegetable. Stephen said he heard a voice telling him, “Feed him, feed him, feed him,” but he didn’t know how with a tube Tony had inserted in his stomach. He went to Walgreen and a Spanish lady from Spain who was working there told him to get a blender. He took the blender home and started feeding Tony with the blended juices he made. He came back to life and started moving and responding.
Stephen has dedicated his whole life to the care of Tony. He has traveled all over the United States looking for better treatments for Tony until he had the misfortune of coming to Nevada and encountering the most insensitive people at St. Rose Dominican Hospital and a Social Worker Case Manager by the name of Linda Stewart.
Linda Stewart took it upon herself to make the decision to file an emergency petition of guardianship so the State of Nevada could become the legal guardians of Tony. Even though the treating physician, Dr. Kartika Shetty, is of the opinion that Stephen is doing a wonderful job caring for Tony and that Tony is responding to his treatments and
Dr. David Burt is not as compassionate as Dr. Shetty and apparently he is in cahoots with Linda Stewart. Without any “compassion, or dedicated community service, and the enduring core values of dignity, justice, collaboration and excellence,” the supposed motto of a religious hospital, they both removed Stephen from the hospital and
are denying him the right to be with his son.
Can Stephen provide a home for Tony? Yes, he can, he has a nice place to take care of his son. Are Stephen and Tony residents of the State of Nevada and plan to stay in Nevada? Yes, they are. Can Stephen
transport Tony to places when needed? Yes, he can. Thanks to the generosity of a good friend in Ohio, David Vogel, Stephen has a brand new handicapped van.
Stephen can provide for Tony much better than a public guardian. Apparently, Linda Stewart never learned or has already forgotten that “Social workers play a critical role in hospital settings by helping patients and families address the impact of illness and treatment.”
Social workers, as part of the health care team, “provide assessment and appropriate interventions to aid the patient in achieving optimum recovery/rehabilitation and quality of life.” If this woman enjoys the suffering of separating father and son, she is in the wrong business and needs to look for another line of work.
Nursing homes cannot and will not provide (at least in Nevada) proper rehabilitation and quality of life.
On August 14 at 1:30 p.m. Stephen Sakac was forced to appear before Judge William Porter for a guardianship hearing.
According to court standards, the Stephen Sakac vs. Clark County Public Guardian was on time, only five minutes late, by the time the Public Administrator entourage were seated and Judge William Potter began the hearing.
Stephen Sakac has become the most recent victim of the Clark County Public Guardian office and has taken action against the de facto group that has become infamous for going after older people’s money in the past.
The Sakac case is very different from other cases because Stephen Sakac has no money, but for almost thirty years has managed to care for his son Tony who is handicapped; the St. Rose De Lima Hospital where Tony has been for the last two months has joined Clark County Public Guardian in their effort to separate father and son.
Judge Potter postponed the hearing until September 5 to give time to Stephen Sakac’s attorney, Tony Smith, with the law firm of Ford and Friedman, who recently has taken the case pro bono to file the proper documentation, and told the Clark County Public Guardian and St. Rose De Lima Hospital that they cannot prohibit Sakac from visiting with his son in the meantime.
The judge took interest and questioned the reason why the “abuse and neglect” question was not properly answered and reminded the parties that it is not unusual for people who are in bed for a long time to get bed sores on their body. Many people in Nevada and other states are following this case.