Hospitals Donít Understand Life, Put Vulnerable Patients At Risk
Celebrity fitness trainer Mike Torchia has made a career of helping the rich and famous reach better levels of health and increased longevity. His enthusiastic client base includes names like Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Matt Damon, and Roseanne Barr. Throughout a 25-year career in Hollywood, Torchia has focused on the biomechanics of fitness and good nutrition but now a personal crisis has left Torchia seeking to expand his health and fitness practice to that of sounding the alarm to all people who have loved ones under hospital care.
The catalyst for this new advocacy was Torchiaís mother Jean, a type-2 diabetic for most of her life, with a malfunctioning heart valve from birth. After age 80, she began having congestive heart failure attacks a few times a year. Every time she would have these attacks, Torchia would leave Hollywood and fly out to Atlanta to help supplement her treatments with holistic procedures such as reflexology and Rieki as well as specialized nutrition.
Shortly after Torchiaís treatments, his ailing mother would often seem to recover and managed to be release from her hospital care back to her normal life.
In late October of 2007, Jean Torchia suffered a heart attack which prompted her son to once again fly to be by her side to help her recovery. Though Torchiaís mother was in one of the most prestigious cardiac care centers in the South, the doctors informed Torchia that his motherís body was slowly failing and she should be sent to a hospice to spend her last few days of life.
Refusing to accept the doctorís suggestion, Torchia personally reviewed his motherís medical charts and medical stats on her heart monitor. The prognosis was grim enough but it was at this point that Torchia resorted to an unusual treatment that made no sense from an impersonal clinical point of view, but proved to be a stroke of good fortune: Torchia utilized music to help stimulate his motherís heart rate.
To hear Torchia explain it, ďThe mind controls how fast or slow the heart will beat. It is a proven fact that the heart beats to the beat of the music and we cannot control it, so I asked the nurses to play classical music to stabilize her heart rate and maintain her blood pressure.Ē
Additionally, Torchia saw that his motherís daily food chart showed she was barely consuming 500 calories a day which was causing her extremely weak condition and inability to talk coherently. After personally supervising the revision of Jean Torchiaís food and water consumption, Mike proceeded to perform reflexology and energy work, all the while giving her words of encouragement and lots of love. To the astonishment of the medical staff of the hospital in question, Jean Torchia actually made a dramatic improvement.
She later went off her most of her meds and supervising physicians cleared her to go through physical therapy and return home the following week.
Feeling vindicated by his unorthodox but intimate healing approach that only a loving family member can give, Mike Torchia flew back to Los Angeles. It was after Torchiaís departure from his motherís bedside that the hospital doctors immediately moved Jean Torchia back to a general care section of the hospital and did not give her the personal care Torchia had requested when he left. The nursing staff went back to not feeding the ailing woman enough calories along with also removing all monitoring equipment. To make matters worse, the hospital staff never performed physical therapy, which was a crucial part of Jean Torchiaís ongoing recovery as established by her son.
Instead of attending to her needs, it was later reported to Torchia that the overworked hospital staff mostly ignored his motherís cries to help her sit up, causing her severe back cramps. After the nursing staff got tired of her pleading, they strapped her legs and arms down and instituted a regimen of sleeping pills.
Obviously, even in the most prestigious hospitals there is extreme skepticism regarding holistic healing methods and there is an institutional bias toward impersonal one-size-fits-all medication procedures and practices. Such an approach, though useful within a certain context, cannot account for the added dimension of intimately connecting with the patients. Such patients are often old and infirm, and unable to adequately express their needs to hospital staff that is often overworked and overextended.
It at this point that every patientís family and/or loved ones become more personally involved in every decision made on behalf of those under hospital care. Just as getting a second medical opinion is recognized as a fundamental right of every patient before entering treatment, it follows that family members not forfeit their right to question health care decisions made during the recovery stages in the hospital.
Jean Torchia died November 4th, 2007, suffering from neglect, mistreatment and lack of proper care. Statistics from universities around the country prove our health care system is not working and people are dying that could of survived longer and better quality lives. Torchia laments that most doctors automatically dismiss holistic methods of healing that could help people live better quality lives.
In the mean time, Torchia consoles himself with the thought that his mother was ďsuch a blessed woman to live a long and happy lifeĒ, though she deserved to pass more gracefully than she did under the best medical care.
ďLive like you are going to live forever and learn like you are going to die tomorrow.Ē
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