A new play debuts April 10 in New York. It highlights the risks we take when we entrust our care to doctors about whom we know little or nothing. It is co-produced by PULSE of NY, a patient safety advocacy and education group.
In a time when TV shows such as The Swan portrayed plastic surgery as an easy way to find perfection, Kathleen Cregan decided to travel in search of the best. But after things go wrong at a Park Avenue plastic surgeon's office, we see how the desire to be better can lead us to doctors we know little about, and situations where we risk losing everything.
Lady from Limerick by Claude Solnik is a play loosely based on the story of Kathleen Kelly Cregan, a woman from Limerick in Ireland who died after plastic surgery in 2005. The play opens a window into the world of plastic surgery where patients sometimes arrive brandishing photos of celebrities.
It tells the story of a couple willing to do anything for each other - and the lengths we go to, to live up to our dreams. But it also illustrates the difficulty of finding out about problems in a physician's past, the risks involved in even simple procedures, and related issues that affect millions of other people. (Cregan's plastic surgeon had more than 30 malpractice settlements against him, but appeared on television and in magazines claiming to be the best at what he did.)
"We need to know as much as possible about doctors," says Ilene Corina, who is co-producer of the play, patient advocate, and president of patient safety organization PULSE of NY. "When doctors are involved in a lot of litigation, we should know."
The professional actors and production staff are donating their time and talent to highlight the important patient safety issues raised by the play.
Corina founded the patient advocacy group after her son Michael died following a tonsillectomy. "We can't stop every infection and every error," she says. "But we have to do everything we can to protect patients."
Lady from Limerick debuts April 10- 20 at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. between 9th and 10th Streets.
Performances are Thurs. - Sat. April 10-12 and April 17-19 at 8 p.m., and Sun. April 13 and 20 at 3 p.m. Tickets $15.00 / Seniors and students $10.00.
The first performance will be preceded at 6:00pm by a press conference at the theater, highlighting the issues raised by the play and launching PULSE of NY's new "One Is a Number" campaign which highlights the importance of every individual when it comes to patient safety.
To learn more and to purchase tickets, go to http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net/limerick.htm. Shows will be followed by discussions with guest speakers, producers and cast.