Always on the go, Willie Parker of Aiken, South Carolina, loved to ride motorcycles and repair them for his friends. He even made a few dune buggies and three wheelers himself. But after suffering through a series of lapses in his hospital care, his wife, Dianne Parker, recalled, “Willie was never the same after the surgery, never able to return to work or drive again.” Willie went to the hospital for head surgery five years ago and left the hospital legally blind and brain damaged. A year later he contracted hospital-acquired MRSA after his knee surgery, further deteriorating his health. After his death in 2007, Dianne’ has been determined to “make the medical care labyrinth a safer place for the next patient to travel.”
Dianne serves on a state committee to improve disclosure of hospital infection rates, which was passed by law in 2006. South Carolina is one of twenty-five states that require public reporting of hospital-acquired infections, including central line-associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections for a number of surgical procedures.