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What An Insult

I was insulted by your article “Broken Skull, Broken Heart” (Cover Story, April 22). I was one of the physicians caring for Dorian. The derogatory depiction of his medical care and physicians in particular was in poor taste. Your readers have no idea of the time, skill, care, and interest myself and others had in trying to provide medical, advice, support for him and his family. It is clear he is and probably always was an insecure, angry, and self-absorbed person. Trust, I had no economic gain in his care, and I am unsure I have ever been paid. Someone should have edited this article. He comes across as an immature, careless person. The article does nothing to educate the public about the social, personal, neurologic consequences of brain injury, which are substantial. The Reader missed a great opportunity to help the public understand this endemic problem but settled for a hit job on the medical community.

Name Withheld by Request
via email

Thanks For Sharing

Dorian, your story was one of the best that I have seen in the Reader in a while (“Broken Skull, Broken Heart,” Cover Story, April 22). My brother had a major head injury about 30 years ago, and reading your story and Aimee’s experience during the time you were in a coma really touched me. It also answered a lot of questions I had about why my brother acted the way he did after the accident. Thank you for sharing such an emotional and difficult time.

Laurie Murray
via email

One Mind Changed

I was moved by Dorian Hargrove’s account of his head injury and rehab after a skateboarding accident (“Broken Skull, Broken Heart,” Cover Story, April 22). As the mom of a teenaged skateboarder, his story is my worst nightmare. Dorian states that “if I can persuade one kid to put on a helmet before skating then something good will have come from my misfortune.” I would like him and his wife to know that my son read the article and has told me that it has changed his attitude about wearing his helmet. I believe this story will save lives. Thank you for sharing it, and I hope for continued recovery for Dorian.

Lynn Mariano
via email


I just have a comment about your latest edition of the Reader (“Broken Skull, Broken Heart,” April 22). The front-cover page is so disturbing to me that I had to take the first page off, and every time I look at that, it’s very, very disturbing to have someone’s head, like, cut in half — I don’t know. It’s just so disturbing to me. And it’s not just disturbing to me. I showed it to my coworkers who don’t want to even read that paper because of that cover, and that edition I will not be reading. It’s very disturbing.

via voice mail

Too Rude For The Kids

Your cover art the last two weeks (“Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?” April 8, and “Broken Skull, Broken Heart,” April 22) has been too graphic to have in my home. We have small children, and we don’t need yet another source of traumatic imagery for them to see. Please don’t join the neo-barbaric movement that seems to dominate this culture ever since the advent of gangster rap and Middle East terrorism. Yeah, 300 was a great movie, but it shouldn’t be a goal for the new world order. You could have used the photo inside for the cover — the one that shows the effect of the head injury on the young man’s motor skills — instead of glorifying the injury as something heroic that he has endured. It was an accident, not a heroic victory over self-destructive behavior. Please, let’s tone down the cover art so the kids don’t have to see it out in public, so they can still enjoy some peace in this world. Yes, they are going to die someday, but don’t tell them. (That’s just rude.) For God’s sake, let the children play.

Gregory J. Cobb
Point Loma

Just Too Ugly

The Reader cover page continues to get uglier and uglier. Last week’s (“Want to Be Sent Home in Pieces?” April 8) was so bad that I couldn’t even bring myself to take one to bring home. I realize you will not appeal to everyone with your cover stories — you never will — but when the cover is absolutely hideous, my guess is that I am not the only one that opted not to pick one up. Not sure, but my guess is that advertisers would not be pleased to hear that. Of course, maybe you don’t really care.

via email

In A New Light

Stowe Biotherapy Medical Oasis in La Mesa was the featured story on 60 Minutes last night. I read the stories that appeared in 2008 by the Reader (“Best Buys,” January 16 and 23, 2008). Would you say that you should revisit your report and shed some light on what is happening? If you think Stowe Biotherapy has duped you, then you owe yourself and your readers a further report based upon what 60 Minutes reported.

Peter Hepburn
via email

Eve Kelly responds: Thank you for your attention to “Best Buys” and for letting me know about the 60 Minutes story. I tried to be very careful in my column not to give credence to (or even include) any claims about reversal of any particular disease because I knew I was not competent to evaluate any such claims. Rather, those columns (and others) were intended to serve as an exploration of the general principles behind a branch of “alternative medicine” — in this case, energy and sound therapy. To my memory, Stowe and I never discussed stem cell treatments. I wouldn’t say that I was duped, because I did not make or repeat any claims about Stowe’s ability to cure disease. But if Stowe is swindling patients, I do deeply regret giving him publicity.

A Family Offended

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Dorian Hargrove April 28, 2010 @ 1:45 p.m.

"I was one of the physicians caring for Dorian...It is clear he is and probably always was an insecure, angry, and self-absorbed person...He comes across as an immature, careless person."

Dr. Shiny Black Shoes is that you? Must be. You know doctor, (showing my maturity by not typing out your real name), I might be an angry, insecure person, and my judgement may have been off but doctor you forget one thing; I had a traumatic brain injury and I was two days out of a coma. What's your excuse? Maybe I was in better condition than I thought, even with a head injury I could see the type of person you are.

As for the rest of the staff at Alvarado Hospital, they were great. And as for the doctors and nurses at Scripps; they saved my life. The therapists at Sharp; they informed me about my injury. You did nothing.

Oh, and once my insurance handles all of my claims, the check will be in the mail. Buy some new shoes or something, anything to distract people from seeing the person you are. Thanks for the confirmation, doctor.


HonestGovernment April 28, 2010 @ 2:33 p.m.

To Dr. What-an-Insult: Wow, it is totally shocking that you would respond so cruelly to Dorian. Disregarding your strange comment, "I am unsure I have ever been paid", your personal attack on a patient is unprofessional and really, really, unbelievably off the mark. I can't imagine that Alvarado's board would agree that you should have submitted in writing these hurtful accusations. I will write the hospital board and suggest that they evaluate your behavior.

You could have taken the opportunity to apologize to Dorian for any perception that you weren't meeting his needs, and you could have explained why he might have felt that way and how you really felt (well, I guess we do know the latter, now). You, the supposed un-brain-damaged professional, should have been the one to recognize that the wrong chemistry existed between you and your patient. YOU should have helped Dorian to access a physician with whom he felt comfortable.

Having worked inside a hopital as a professional, I know what everyone knows: (1) being a patient almost always has its horrible moments and experiences, and (2) hospital personnel are a mix of the good, bad, and ugly. And sometimes they hate patients on sight, and patients sense it.

Further, everyone knows that doctors don't have the time, nor do many have the personality, to interact with every patient successfully. It is inevitable that the wrong chemistry will pop up between doctor and patient, and part of the doctor's duty is to recognize this and to help redirect the patient.

Shame on you! Sorry, Dorian. You and Aimee don't need this kind of ugliness in your lives. Just chalk it up to living in the real world...LIVING, thank goodness!


SDaniels April 28, 2010 @ 2:51 p.m.

Uhhhhhh, what's up, doc?

You know, I am not even sure this is serious--the writer does not demonstrate the kind of intelligence one might expect from the incisive mind of a physician--there is a lot of careless repetition of subjects, as though this person hasn't been that familiar or comfortable with a pen--much less a surgeon's knife.

Dorian has a literacy-challenged enemy of some kind, with extremely poor taste. That's about all you can gather from this--a "hit on the medical community?"

Come on. Wacka wacka, doc!


HonestGovernment April 28, 2010 @ 3:28 p.m.

^ Agreed. And if it is real, repeat: whacked.


poohburr April 28, 2010 @ 4:38 p.m.

In response to 'Doctor' Shiny Black Shoes, your letter in regards to Dorian's article is nothing more than proof of the arrogance that looms above your head. At all times, especially with a recovering patient of severe traumatic brain injury such as Dorian's, I believe a doctor should show compassion towards all patients, this including patients already released from the facility. To even mention not having 'been paid' is a reflection of what your sole motive is in your profession, to make money... to get by with your job and bring home that sadly earned bacon. Your part in this article was minuscule in relation to the bigger picture this article is trying to convey and if you can't get your self to see that, even to just obtain a glimpse of it, then oh well, more accidents and brain injuries for us, more money for you right? Regardless of what the reality was and how you were portrayed in this story, hundreds of lives were saved in the past week that this issue of The Reader was out, and many more will continue to be saved thanks to the courageous effort of the author to write this story. It was hard to read and I could only imagine how hard it was to live it then relive it in words. Thanks for being an inspiration to us all Dorian.

To the comments about the graphic nature of the cover: you wrote in didn't you? Another impact has been made. Kudos to The Reader and amazing job on the photography Aimee.

-Erny C.


magicsfive April 30, 2010 @ 9:05 a.m.

RE: What An Insult


if you really are a doctor, which i suspect you are NOT, i am pretty sure it is some sort of a HIPAA violation to even come here and discuss his patient care...at all. it was his choice to share his ordeal with everyone. and for you to come in here and trash him...HOW DARE YOU?!? why don't you state your name, DOCTOR, so i and everyone else may avoid your services at all costs. doctor, my fat ass. you sicken me.


magicsfive April 30, 2010 @ 9:13 a.m.

...and RE: Disturbed:

Seriously? after all this young man has been through and was courageous enough to tell his story, you are "Disturbed" by a photo of his head injury?? where is everyone's compassion? you should be shouting praises that he is alive and giving words of encouragement for him. christ, wtf is wrong with you people? why don't you, like, stop reading the reader, like, write something contructive, like...


nan shartel April 30, 2010 @ 1:35 p.m.

the doc is being petty in some ways but

i think DorianH has no idea or empathy for all that medical personal do to save lives and especially his life

his recovery is quite remarkable...but without all that were involved with his care he wouldn't be here to tell us all about it

guess u can tell i worked in hospital 30 years eh ;-)

believe me i've known arrogant physicians i would have like to take out back and horse whipped...but if i needed their specialty because of the type injury i had they could act like horses a*sses all day long and i would have still opted to have them on my case

bless u for ur story Dorian...it was a very brave thing to do ..and a pic too

continued recovery mister and blessing


magicsfive April 30, 2010 @ 4:12 p.m.

i hear what you're saying, nan. but i am a nurse too and many times it is a thankless job..don't get me wrong, i don't ever expect thanks, i LOVE what i do and like you, have met many arrogant a**hole "doctors" like this, more than i care to remember..but to come here and complain about a patient when all he is doing is telling his story and trying to heal, inexcusable, inappropriate, unprofessional.. i really do wish he would identify himself so that everyone could avoid being stuck seeing him. just saying.


Dorian Hargrove April 30, 2010 @ 6:17 p.m.


I appreciate the comments, but keep in mind my life was saved by different doctors and nurses at a different hospital. The doctor I had my issue with is the head of the rehabilitation institute at Alvarado, my second hospital after awaking from the coma. He never saved my life and had nothing to do with my rehab.

And trust me, I appreciate everything that everyone did for me. I don't, however appreciate someone just because they are doctor, especially one with a horrendous bedside manner. Just had to clarify. Thanks.


SDaniels April 30, 2010 @ 7:22 p.m.

Exactly. Let's not let this blow out of proportion. If you read the actual piece written by Dorian, there is no "hit on the medical community," and actually very little mention of even this doctor. Read the piece in its entirety before you comment.


CuddleFish April 30, 2010 @ 8:25 p.m.

I agree. Dorian took a dislike to one particular doctor, not the entire medical profession, which he resolved by asking for a change of doctors; he discussed this situation as one part of the whole ordeal he went through. Should he have not talked about it? I think the doctor took on significance due to the circumstances, and therefore I feel it was appropriate to discuss in the article, which Dorian did, with honesty. If nothing else, he has a right to his opinion.

Does the doctor have an equal right? I think perhaps not an equal right to express it: Do no harm. Keep your highly paid trap shut.


NotQuiteADiva May 2, 2010 @ 11:46 p.m.

I am amazed! Amazed by Dorian’s story, and amazed by the responses to it…

First of all, Doctor Shiny Shoes is the lowest and least that I care to respond to. Frankly, it surprises me that our medical system doesn’t produce more of his ilk. Yet consider the medical educational process that aspiring doctors go through. Most people could not even imagine how tough that is! It’s a wonder to me that anyone can survive it with their humanity intact... That being said, what annoys me more are the ones complaining about the cover. Open your eyes to the reality of life! He had part of his skull removed!! That’s what it looks like, you twits!!!


Shotgun Shela April 22, 2012 @ 9:15 p.m.

I'm HAPPY yer alive and recoverin Dorian, and proud to call you friend!


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