Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Donna Smith

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation

December 12th, 2011 12:13 PM

Occupying Love and Joy for Nataline

Every year for the past four years around this time, Nataline Sarkisyan’s parents build toward an unimaginable anniversary filled with sorrow and pain.  On December 20, 2007, they lost their only daughter, 17-year-old Nataline to corporate greed and insurance company cruelty.  Nataline died after the insurance giant CIGNA initially denied coverage for a liver transplant then reversed the decision when protest pressure (from the family’s extended Armenian community, the California Nurses Association and an on-line firestorm of outrage) and the potential for public relations damage grew too much.  But the reversal came too late.  Nataline was dead.

Wendell Potter, who was a high-level CIGNA employee at the time of Nataline’s death and who became a whistleblower about the health insurance industry following that time, wrote about Nataline in his award winning book Deadly Spin. The first time Nataline’s family came face-to-face with Potter was shown on Dateline NBC in December 2009.

The family’s struggle to make sense of this atrocity and to make sure other families do not have to bury their children due to these sorts of insurance company decisions led to the formation of the Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation.  Rather than sinking into the despair that could easily have come from such a loss, Nataline’s mother, Hilda, has almost single-handedly lifted Nataline up as her “angel” guiding the advocacy for the changes that might have saved her daughter.

But every year, that anniversary day – that horrible day – just keeps coming back to open the scars and tear at the heart.  Nataline is dead.  She is not coming back, and the memory of her beautiful smile, her stunning eyes (just like her mother’s) and her dreams of giving beauty to the world must wash over the hurt and comfort those for whom no comfort without her can ever be enough.

So, on this anniversary, Nataline’s mom will be as she has been for the past four years on December 20th – quiet and alone with her thoughts and her memories.

But in the fashion that has become Hilda’s style since then, she will turn tragedy into action again just two days prior to that anniversary.  We can all help with that.  We can use these moments to pause with the Sarkisyan family and remember why we all fight against corporate greed, and we can help.

Let’s Occupy Love and Occupy Joy with this family. For Nataline, for Hilda and Koko, and for all of our children.

Nataline’s mother sent me the release below:

On December 18, 2011, The Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation is hosting a toy drive benefiting Children’s Hospital LA.

“My daughter, Nataline, passed away at the age of 17 due to our corrupted health care system. She was denied a liver transplant by our insurance company. They chose profit over life.

“Nataline's 4th annual memorial is just days away. In her honor, we like to make a child's Christmas Merrier. Putting a smile on a child's little face who is suffering with all kinds of illnesses during this Holiday season is what would make Nataline proud. With the support of our family, friends and community, we have collected hundreds of toys. We look forward to helping make hundreds of children smile. 'Tis the season for giving and we shall give to all.

“The following are the details of the event.

Date and time: Sunday, December 18, 2011, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., then at 1:00 p.m. Caravan to Children’s Hospital in LA.

Location: 162 N. Sierra Madre Blvd in Pasadena, CA

The Hye Riders are partnering with us serving food and drinks before the caravan takes off.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon. If you cannot attend, please donate.  Thank you.”

Regards,

Nataline's mom.

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

If you have a moment today, I hope you can read the obituary for my father Francis (Frank) Moore, who died this past Saturday at the age of 92: Francis...

Apr 22nd
6:33 PM
Read More

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles