Letter 24: Letter from Nana
Wow, your story has really shaken me and forced me to open my eyes and take a deeper look into the routine medications I take so complacently. I feel so much heartache for you and your family. I stand with your families’ frustrations as well with the lack of support and interest that was displayed towards your case when they needed it the most.
As a 20 year old woman, I was over my pre-menstrual symptoms I had to endure each month. I dreaded the intense pain and bouts of nausea that came with each period and the looming feelings of anxiety, frustration, and sadness that came every month as well. So, after winning approval from my mother (who happens to be a physician), I went to my gynecologist and inquired about birth control. I felt that my doctor and my mother had done a wonderful job explaining the pros and cons of each form of birth control, so I left feeling as though I had chosen the option best suited for me. However, in all of those conversations I never once heard about side effects such as SUDDEN DEATH!
Thank you so much, Annie, for showing me that I cannot just pass over the list of “rare” side-effects with a "that could never happen to me" mentality. Annie, you were the perfect patient, diligently paying attention to your health and seeking out professional help. Your story shows us that medical providers and drug companies need to do more. It also encourages us to do our own research to fill the gaps. You remind me of myself and so many of my friends. It is so disheartening to know that your story could have been the story of so many of us.
As a previous letter mentioned, there is nothing “natural” about your cause of death. It was one that could have been prevented. Not by you, or your parents, but by the FDA, pharmaceutical companies, and medical professionals.
It is incredibly inspiring that your family has used your story to reach so many women out there who are in the same shoes as you were. I feel incredibly lucky to know your story and be just that much more equipped with knowledge and to be inspired. The influence and impact you are having at this very moment is incredible, and I only hope it continues to touch more women like us in the future.
The George Washington University Class of 2019