An Interesting Story
by Lois Reilly
This is aboout my late brother, Bill Poulsen. Bill was a premature baby who was placed in a hospital incubator. The incubator malfunctioned and he "died" from lack of oxygen.. When they found him he was blue and they were able to somehow revive him to bring him back to life but unfortunately brain cells died and he was permanently damaged.
When he was 18 years old he left our home to live in Sonoma State Hospital in California. My mother had found out that she had cancer and she felt this would be the best for him. When Ronald Reagan was governer he sent many patients out into the community to live. Bill was one of them. This is when the problem began. Bill went to live in many homes over the course of 20 years. Each home insisted on medicating him just to keep him "managable". The doctors and psychiatrists didn't even know what had happened to him at birth; they found out sometimes much later when I would plead with them to stop making a zombie out of my brother. I would have to explain to them why he was retarded. It didn't make any difference. Over the years he was given Lithium, Haldol, Thorazine, Mellaril (excuse the misspellings) and many others. At one home he was so overmedicated that he was sent to Stockton State Hospital to detoxify. When my parents died I became his guardian according to their will even though the State of California has jusisdiction. I take this very seriously and I also loved him very much.
On February 22, 2005 my brother was found dead on the floor of the board and care home where he was living. I had spoken with him the night before and he seemed fine. I asked the Coroner to order a toxicology. Sure enough, He was found to have 430ng/ML of Olanzapine in his blood. I found out that the toxic level for olanzapine is 250 ng/ML. The autopsy showed nothing wrong. In fact they stated that he had a normal body of a healthy adult male. He was also taking Carbamanzepine , Lorazepam, . They also found Doxylymine which was not perscribed for him. I have fought for years to make them stop overmedicating him , especially because he did not need these meds. He was high functioning and sweet and loving. It was solely for the convenience of the uneducated and untrained staff that work in these homes.
I want justice for Bill's life and death. He didn't deserve this kind of life or death. I am on my second lawyer and hope that this one won't give up. I am suing for wrongful death against the board and care home. I think the state should be sued as well as Eli Lily( they refuse to tell me how much olanzapine it would take to kill a person). The psychiatrist , medical doctor and the social worker should also be sued. I have to be satisfied that any lawyer is wiling to at least sue the board and care home. They are inexperienced in this sort of case and feel that it would be like David suing Goliath. I have coroners reports and toxicology reports as well as the death certificate which states cause of death "Undetermined."
If you are interested in hearing any more of the details of this case, please call me or if you email your phone number I will call you. I need all the direction I can get. It has been an uphill struggle but I am very determined. Please find it in your heart to help me.
When this lawsuit is over I plan to advocate for better laws in California that would prohibit anyone from medicating retarded people who are forced to go through life as zombies to make it easy for the system. They should medicate the health care workers! God give me the strength to carry this forward. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Lois Reilly (510)523-9061) 806 Harbor Rd. Alameda, Ca 94502