AFT On Campus
It takes a Community
New York unions marshal broad coalition to save hospital that serves 2.5 million.
When Brooklyn, N.Y., resident Simuel Stevenson collapsed while playing basketball, he was taken to a nearby hospital that diagnosed a heart problem. As his family absorbed the news that the 19-year-old needed open-heart surgery, his mother, Deborah Stevenson, started thinking, “second opinion.”
“I took him straight to SUNY Downstate,” she says.
Turned out, Simuel was dehydrated and his heart was fine. Six years later, his grateful mother still says the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center saved her son’s life—or at least the needless pain and anxiety associated with unnecessary surgery.
Downstate was a lifesaver for Dianne Brown, too. Her daughter, Jewel, was born at Downstate 15 years ago with “congenital abnormalities,” as the doctors said. She was missing crucial internal organs. Brown was told her baby would not survive, but nevertheless, the hospital doctors, nurses and medical staff did everything within their power to save her—multiple surgeries, dialysis in the specialized pediatric dialysis center, then a kidney transplant.
Today, Jewel is a lovely young teenager with a radiant smile. Her mother is doing her part to save the hospital that saved her daughter.
Highlights from this Issue