Lisa Marie Pond
Class of 1985
Lisaâ€™s life ended abruptly while on a family cruise in February 2007. A brain aneurysm that had gone undetected for years had ruptured while she and her family were in Miami. Lisa was only 39 years old.
Lisa was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, with partner, Janice, of 18yrs and 3 of their adopted children close behind. Her parenter and children were not allowed to be with Lisa because the hospital told Janice that they were in an â€œanti-gay city and stateâ€. The hospital also went on to say that without a court order or a Power of Attorney no information would be exchanged. Fortunately they had planned for such an event and friends back in WA state faxed the necessary documents to the hospital. However, the hospital refused to recognize Lisaâ€™s legally adopted children or her partner as family. As a result for 8 hours Lisa lay alone, slipped into a coma and died with her family just 20 feet away behind a locked door.
Because of the treatment that Lisa and her family received her partner began speaking out to groups across the country. After a article in the New York Times was published, their story caught the attention of President Obama. The President called Janice to apologize for how the family was treated. Then in June 2010, Janice and the children were invited to the White House to meet one on one with President Obama and have pictures taken as well as being mentioned in a speech as he signed a memorandum directly all hospitals in the US to allow same sex partners the same visitation rights as those related by blood.
Not only did Lisaâ€™s passing change national policy, but true to Lisaâ€™s giving nature she wanted her organs donated so others could live. She saved 4 lives with her kidneys, liver and heart. Other tissues are being used for research purposes.
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