On my way to meet with the Flores-Rios family recently, I was filled with trepidation. If I had been heading to an interview with a county commissioner, an Air Force general, or a U.S. senator, I thought, there'd be no problem. I've done that hundreds of times.
But sitting down with a couple whose infant daughter almost died after an operation at Memorial Hospital, and speaking with them through an interpreter — something the doctor didn't do — isn't exactly within my comfort zone. Nor should it be. There's nothing more personal than a health care issue.
Asking this couple to tell how their lives were turned upside-down, how their little girl can't play like other kids and undergoes dialysis nightly, adds a human dimension to a story that some news media might report from the court file, with a headline or sound bite directing attention only to the seven-figure settlement amount.
The Flores-Rios story, though, goes far beyond court papers, as you can see here, and underscores what can happen when communication barriers are ignored.
As it turned out on that warm and windy interview day, Jesus Flores and Marisela Rios opened their home to strangers and candidly recounted the devastating experience, trusting that their story would be told accurately and with sensitivity. We hope we've measured up.