Josie’s Story: A Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe

Medical / General



Ninety-eight thousand people die every year from medical errors, making it a leading cause of death in the United States, but the subject has long been taboo. All that changed with Josie. Sorrel King’s eighteen-month-old daughter was badly burned by a faulty water heater in the family’s new home, but was taken to the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she made a remarkable recovery. But as she was preparing to leave, the hospital’s system of communication broke down and Josie was given a fatal shot of methadone, sending her into cardiac arrest. Within forty-eight hours, the King family went from planning a homecoming to planning a funeral. Dizzy with grief and close to ending her marriage, Sorrel slowly pulled herself and her life back together. Accepting Hopkins’ settlement, she and her husband established the Josie King Foundation. They began to implement basic programs in hospitals emphasizing communication between patients, family, and medical staff—practices which can now be found in hospitals around the country. The account of one woman’s unlikely path from full-time mom to nationally renowned patient advocate, Josie’s Story is the inspirational chronicle of how a mother—and her unforgettable daughter—are transforming the face of American medicine.
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