WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The phone rang as Amanda Morin was heading out the door from her Davidson County home Monday to take her daughter to an appointment in Winston-Salem.
The person on the line was from Forsyth Medical Center, and Morin was sure she was about to be told that she had left her slippers at the hospital while a patient there in late January.
But the message was quite different. It was life-changing.
“We’re sorry to inform you that you may have been exposed to a deadly disease,” the person said.
“What are you talking about?” Morin answered.
She was running late, and this was starting to feel like some sort of prank.
“She tried to explain more, then a man spoke up and told me I was on a conference call. He tried to explain more. He gave me a number.”
They told her they were sorry. They tried telling her about some disease she had never heard of and that when she Googled it, not to associate it with mad cow disease.
The conversation left Morin disoriented, and she rushed off to her appointment. She didn’t fully digest the news until later that evening when word spread in the media that 18 people who had gone undergone neurological surgery between Jan. 18-Feb. 6 at the medical center may have been exposed to Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a fatal brain disease.
She was one of them.
“I was absolutely distraught,” she said.
And apologies do not feel like enough.
“ ‘I’m sorry for ruining your life. I’m sorry for giving you this anxiety.’ That’s just not going to work,” Morin said.
Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal