Mary Brennan-Taylor, an activist with the Safe Patient Project since the tragic death of her mother in 2009, has just had an article published by JAMA Internal Medicine, wherein she details in a powerful narrative the sequence of events that took her mother’s life. Once a sharp, lively, and positive 88-year old woman, Mary’s mother experienced firsthand the failings of a health care system that mismanaged her case and eventually led to her preventable decline and death due to several hospital-acquired infections.

Mary has dedicated herself to researching patient safety, educating the public as well as health professionals, and participating in the ongoing national dialogue about the devastating consequences of medical errors. Driven by her own personal tragedy, Mary works to ensure that others should be protected from the pain her own family underwent, striving for a “culture change” in the way patient safety is valued and handled. In addition to her collaboration with the Safe Patient Project, Mary works with the University of Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, and the Wall Street Journal.

We applaud Mary for sharing her painful experience so that others can learn from it and take action. If you or a loved one have been harmed by a medical error or a hospital acquired infection, share your story here, and stay updated by following us on Twitter.

–Savannah Wood