State Legislature Won’t Pass Common Sense Bill For Grieving Mother To Streamline Notification Process When Family Members Are In Car Crash
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CALLING ALL TURTLERIDERS! I need your help! As a fellow Turtlerider, I have interacted with many of you in the comment sections. Some of them are of a combative nature, usually the ratchets or ratchet fam featured in the blog, but I realized that most of them are positive, have my back-type comments. So when faced with the desire to help a loved one with something they have been fighting for (for over a decade, mind you) get the support they need to get a bill passed in this back-asswards state, my first thought was: THE TURTLERIDERS!!
Meet my friend Josh.
Look at that smile. No matter what mood you were in, one of his corny jokes and infamous smiles could turn your frown upside down. April 17th will mark 14 years since his passing, 14 years and a week since I saw that smile in person. And I speak for all his loved ones when I say he is sorely missed.
Joshua was riding shotgun in a friend’s car on a rainy, April night, traveling down “roller coaster road” in Sterling. As someone who had a friend die in a car accident, Josh was vehement about wearing a seatbelt. When he realized the driver’s ’89 piece of shit seatbelts didn’t work, he insisted on riding shotgun, because that’s the kind of guy he was. He would rather put himself in harms way than subject someone else to it to save his own ass. The car hydroplaned, rolled several times, hit a boulder and finally landed, passenger-side first, against a tree. All passengers involved sustained extensive injuries but Joshua’s were by far the worst. He was transported to UMass, admitted to the ICU for brain injuries and placed in a medically induced coma. Because Josh was 20 years old at the time, there is no requirement for the hospital to contact next of kin. He lay on that cold metal table with tubes breathing for him for three hours before a parent of another person involved in the accident contacted his parents. THREE HOURS!
Now I’m no expert but I am an avid reader of medical publications and almost every one I have read suggests that patients in comas are somewhat aware of what is going on. Joshua’s mother, Sharon, believes he knew he was alone and that’s good enough for me. Mothers: please put yourself in her position. How would you feel if your baby, albeit a 20-year-old baby (but they never stop being your baby, right?), was severely injured and all alone in a hospital? I think it’s safe to assume you’d be as pissed as she was and still is.
TurtleLadies and TurtleGents, allow me to introduce to you, Joshua’s Bill. It is currently up for consideration for the THIRD TIME after THIRTEEN years of Sharon’s hard work collecting signatures for petitions, interviewing, meeting with selectmen, and organizing the Forever Our Stars Children’s Memorial Garden at the Reservoir Pines Cemetery. The bill is very simple and so full of common sense that of course the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has stalled it twice. They voted in pay raises for themselves no problem, but that’s none of my business though.
Joshua’s Bill will call for Emergency Contact information to be put into the system at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and will allow for retrieval of that information via the barcode on the back of every state issued ID. That’s it. The same damn barcode that almost every single packie in the state has a reader for. So it’s cool to make sure you’re of age to buy that 30 rack of Natty’s with money you got from selling your food stamps, but fuck you and your family if you get in a serious accident on the way home. Michigan just passed a similar bill in 2016, with an implementation deadline of sometime in 2017. Hell, even the hot mess Florida already has a website in place where citizen’s can enter their info and officials will contact a designated person, including across state lines, in the event of an emergency. Get it together Massholes!! I mean, this just makes so much sense it physically hurts that it keeps getting denied.
So here’s the favor I’m calling in. Please take two minutes of your time to email this fella:
Bill Straus. He’s the Representative that currently serves as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He’s the one that needs to hear our collective Turtle voices. He doesn’t need the full wrath I know my fellow TurtleLoves can give, just a couple of sentences from as many of you as possible saying you are in support of this bill because you have common sense. Simple legislature, simple request. Yes, this may be important to Joshua’s loved ones but it is beneficial to literally everyone. If you have ever loved someone or have had someone love you, this applies to you. Would you want to find out someone you love is fighting for their life, or have someone you love find out you are hooked up to life support, hours after the fact? Especially if you or that person only had hours left to live? I don’t think anyone in their right mind would answer yes to that. So please, please, please, write an email, share this blog, get as many people as possible involved so that Sharon’s voice for Joshua is finally heard and her wish that no family ever have to suffer through this is fulfilled. Thank you for your time, you awesome, foul-mouthed delights. Never change.
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