Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy: The Cause of My Life

Ted Kennedy wrote a personal, touching article last month for Newsweek on the need for health care reform that needs to be highlighted. We all mourn the loss of Sen. Kennedy, but should remember that we can honor his life and his dreams for this country by passing health care reform.

The Cause of My Life

By Edward M. Kennedy | NEWSWEEK

Published Jul 18, 2009

In 1964, I was flying with several companions to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention when our small plane crashed and burned short of the runway. My friend and colleague in the Senate, Birch Bayh, risked his life to pull me from the wreckage. Our pilot, Edwin Zimny, and my administrative assistant, Ed Moss, didn't survive. With crushed vertebrae, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung, I spent months in New England Baptist Hospital in Boston. To prevent paralysis, I was strapped into a special bed that immobilizes a patient between two canvas slings. Nurses would regularly turn me over so my lungs didn't fill with fluid. I knew the care was expensive, but I didn't have to worry about that. I needed the care and I got it.

Now I face another medical challenge. Last year, I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Surgeons at Duke University Medical Center removed part of the tumor, and I had proton-beam radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital. I've undergone many rounds of chemotherapy and continue to receive treatment. Again, I have enjoyed the best medical care money (and a good insurance policy) can buy.

Read the rest at Newsweek.

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