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Frank J. Lynch

Susan's Family

My Parents and My Husband

Unfortunately, my story starts with the passing of my Mother on August 17th, 2006. She never enjoyed good health having been in a diabetic coma at age 26 and suffering a stroke at age 44. She died of congestive heart failure while having a stent inserted. My father was devastated by her death and so when he started to lose weight I didn’t really suspect anything. He told me he was on a heart med since June and that he had to stay out of the sun and that he couldn’t have grapefruit juice. Time passed and he traveled to the East Coast in October. He froze there…he just couldn’t get warm and it turns out this is a symptom also.  The hostess of where he was staying  called me and said “Your Dad is sick…there’s something really wrong.” When he came home he went to the doctor and received antibiotics. He still couldn’t shake what we thought was this cold and in fact he was getting worse. I went to the doctor with him and essentially he never came home. The date was Nov. 20, 2006

In the emergency room they thought he had pneumonia and after 2 rounds of antibiotics they still didn’t see the results they wanted. They were still looking for the culprit. They questioned me extensively about his travel. They surmised that it was TB and put him in isolation the second day of his hospital stay. I arrived to check on him that evening to find him gasping for air and not monitored from the nurses desk. I was furious and let them know it. The next day he was in ICU. It was in the following days that they realized that Amiodarone could be “a factor”. I looked the drug up and confronted the doctor with my findings. She asked me what book I was looking at…I told her. It was called “The Pill Book” and I was embarrassed by its simplistic title. She replied “that’s a title I’ll never own.” I went back to the library and looked at Physician’s Desk Reference. It described Amiodarone has having all the toxic symptoms that my Dad was displaying. Outraged, I wrote a letter outlining my frustrations (one of them being a hospital bed that fit him…he was tall). That landed me a meeting with the head of the department and nursing staff.

My Dad was intubated in that first week in the hospital. Communication was cut and he was in his own world trying to cope with what treatments were prescribed. For those of you who have been through this level of care, maybe you’ll understand it when I say that there was almost a level of violence to it. That’s one of the things that motivates me to get Amiodarone restricted is how much suffering he had to go through. It was just torturous. As a society we would be outraged if we did this to hardened criminals. I feel so bad that he had to die in this fashion. He just didn’t deserve to be treated like this.

Towards the end of January, the doctors approached us and said that there was nothing more that could be done. At this point he was faced with kidney failure and had a stage 4 bed sore. We all had to wear gloves and gowns to enter the room. On January 25th the plan was set that the next day we would take him off the ventilator while administering morphine. My Dad was a very sharp guy right to the end and I’ll never forget him winking at me that day.
He knew what was coming and it was OK with him. That’s the last “communication” I had with my Dad.

I did have an autopsy done. I have  read it  and it sites Amiodarone as the cause of death.
While my Dad did have insurance, I thought I might be faced with at least some medical bills. I never saw one bill.

What I think his case illustrates is that fact that he didn’t know that pulmonary fibrosis was a side effect. Not only was he totally unaware but the doctors also didn’t see this at first either. Why didn’t the GP doctor and Emergency docs put together the fact that he was taking this drug and having these symptoms? Are they ‘googling’ this stuff just like the rest of us?!! If so, you’ll find that not every internet listing for this drug describes what harm it really can do. Why is that? How can we change that? Also, why are patients given drugs they don’t fully understand the risks of? I think that needs to change.

In summary, let me say that my Dad was a great guy. He served his country in Germany, he worked incredibly hard in his business, took care of my mother, and together they raised a family of three. It is just a tragedy that he met his end because he was prescribed a toxic drug and he was unaware of the risks.
I just don’t want anyone else to go through this.
Susan


10 Responses

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  1. Maureen says

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Have you considered
    suing the Doctors? It might draw more attention to
    the general public and make Doctors think twice
    before prescribing this drug. There is no excuse
    for the nurses and aids not turning and repositioning
    your Father every 2 hours to prevent him getting
    a bed sore. That is poor nursing care not to mention
    neglect.

    • Susan says

      Maureen…I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

      Unfortunately, suing the medical community is much more difficult than one might think. There are limits as to how long after the person passes that you can pursue a legal remedy and a number of other obstacles. In my father’s case the time limit passed and I didn’t even realize it.

      As to his medical care…I wasn’t overly impressed with the hospital by any means. I wrote them a stern letter while he was under their care because they were in denial in regards to the effect amiodarone was having on him. It was a nurse that tipped me off that it was amiodarone. I looked up the drug in a book called “The Pill Book” and sure enough it listed all the symptoms he had leading up to his hospitalization. (BTW, he had gone to his primary doctor before and complained of a cough, chills, difficulty breathing but they didn’t take any action.) When I found out what this drug had done to him, I confronted the doctor…she said “Where did you get this information?” I innocently replied “The Pill Book”. She said “Well that’s one book I’ll never get!” Not knowing for sure that I was right, I was humiliated and backed down. He did receive a specialized bed that rotated him and was supposed to avoid bed sores but they appeared just the same. He was in ICU for 61 days and I visited him for 59 of those days. I wish I had known more at the time so that I could have been of more assistance. I felt very alone…I didn’t know anyone else that was going through this. That’s part of the reason I started this website and the Facebook page “Stop Amiodarone” so that I can at least help someone else have the confidence to stand their ground with a medical team.
      Thanks again for posting.
      Susan

  2. Reid Walley says

    Leaving a test comment.

  3. Reginald Palmer says

    Wow they gave me some amioderone once by iv in the hospital and then a different cardiologist gave it to me ranting about how great of a drug it was, i didnt notice much so about a week into it i stopped it, that was 7 years ago, now they gave it to me in the hospital in a 200 mg pill for 3 days to calm my afib down, and i took it for a few more days after they released me, but i just stopped taking it yesterday because it was making it seem hard to breath, so today i feel fine, but wow, im not ever taking that crap again after stumbling on this web sight and reading this crap about it, im so sorry i just lost my father too and its so hard when you see how the Drs fail to treat something correctly

  4. Justin L. Williams says

    Susan, If you have any questions please email or you can call if you would like to talk. If you email I will provide my phone number.Justin@hmglawfirm.com or JLWLAW777@gmail.com, I am so sorry for your loss, I know it is still hard. Justin

  5. jeanniegrider says

    I was touched by Susan's post about her dad, Frank Lynch. Indeed, I always admired his strength and family values. I remember the pain in Susan's heart when she could not "save" him and had to watch him suffer from a drug administered without proper research. What little I know about this drug is what I have "googled" and read from this website. It appears in some cases to be effective, but should only be used as a measure of last resort due to the potential horrific side effects. I would hope that the drug manufacturer would invest in additional research and produce an alternative to treat the underlying causes so this medication can be removed from use.

  6. Dan Lynch says

    Thank You Sue for telling our family story. I miss both of them so much.

  7. Marla says

    Susan–I don't know how you managed losing both your parents so close together. My heart goes out to you. I can just picture that wink you describe here, and it breaks my heart. I know, too, the violence of medical treatment that you describe–it's hard to shake those images. I am glad to see Frank's story up here with Red's now. They'd probably have a lot to talk about if they had ever met! I am just so sorry they both had to suffer needlessly and have their lives shortened in this way.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Amiodarone Toxicity | amiodarone toxicity linked to this post on September 3, 2010

    [...] Frank Lynch [...]


  2. Warning: extract() [function.extract]: First argument should be an array in /home/susgri4/amiodaronetoxicity.com/wp-content/themes/carrington-blog/comment/comment-default.php on line 23
    Susan says

    I was touched by Susan’s post about her dad, Frank Lynch. Indeed, I always admired his strength and family values. I remember the pain in Susan’s heart when she could not “save” him and had to watch him suffer from a drug administered without proper research. What little I know about this drug is what I have “googled” and read from this website. It appears in some cases to be effective, but should only be used as a measure of last resort due to the potential horrific side effects. I would hope that the drug manufacturer would invest in additional research and produce an alternative to treat the underlying causes so this medication can be removed from use.
    ~Jeannie Grider



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