Cleveland: The News-Herald: Willoughby resident starts Emily Jerry Foundation
Friday, January 29, 2010
By John Arthur Hutchison
Willoughby resident Christopher Jerry has started a foundation aimed at increasing awareness and preventing medical errors like the one that killed Emily, his 2-year-old daughter.
Emily Jerry died in March 2006 when a pharmacy technician’s mistake led to the delivery of a fatal dose of saline solution.
Her death came three days after she received the lethal dose during what should have been her final chemotherapy treatment.
The grapefruit-sized tumor in her abdomen was gone and her parents were planning a trip to Disney World when the toxic mixture was administered.
The case was the basis for a state law called “Emily’s Law,” which Gov. Ted Strickland signed in January 2009. The legislation is intended to ensure pharmacy technicians have the training and experience to properly and safely dispense medications to Ohio patients.
Jerry formed the nonprofit group last year to push for similar federal legislation.
He said the foundation’s mission is to protect children from medical errors.
The foundation’s goal is to actively work to save lives as well as to make medical facilities safer by looking to partner with organizations and businesses to promote lifesaving technology.
The Emily Jerry Foundation recently announced the agency’s first partnership with Tucson, Ariz.-based CDEX Inc. The two organizations hope to build public awareness about the company’s chemical detection equipment aimed to ensure medical facilities deliver the right medications to patients.
“It’s a safety net that protects the patients and helps to guarantee the right drug and dose are delivered every time,” Jerry said.
The foundation aims to focus on areas where it can immediately and directly positively influence patient safety, he said.
The foundation is going through the filing process to become federally recognized as a charitable 501(c)(3) corporation, which would allow donations to be considered tax-deductible.
Jerry also is trying to move forward with his life after experiencing some legal problems that include a lawsuit he filed in September in U.S. District Court in Cleveland against the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, county commissioners, and the city of Painesville’s police, probation department and municipal court.
For more information about the organization, visit www.emilyjerryfoundation.org.