Georgian fights cap on lawsuits

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, March 2, 2003

It is the stuff of nightmares.

Sherry Keller sat in a doctor's office three years ago and watched her hysterectomy stitches unravel -- "like a Ziploc bag," she says. But even while slipping into shock, her insides open to the air, she did not realize how much her life was about to profoundly change.

The June 2000 medical disaster ultimately left the 44-year-old Conyers resident in a wheelchair and turned her into an advocate for malpractice victims. Keller demonstrated her passion for the subject as she told members of Congress in early February about the tragedy that stole her independence and her hope of making a living as an artist.

"I am never going to have the freedom a healthy body has," Keller explained during a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill. "We, as victims, endure pain and suffering 24 hours a day, with physical pain that no amount of medicine can take away."

Keller is one of dozens of alleged malpractice victims who came to Washington to recount their stories as lawmakers consider the biggest effort to rewrite the rules for medical malpractice compensation since the 1970s.

As for Keller, battling the bill has become her cause. She will return to Washington on Monday to take part in another day of lobbying, this time organized by the Center for Justice and Democracy, a Washington nonprofit group.

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

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