Helen Marie Bousquet is my mother.
It would be impossible to explain all she did for me. She gave up her own dreams to help me fulfill my own, and I will always regret allowing her to go to The Holy Family Hospital, in Methuen, Massachusetts, for the "treatment" that ended her life.
Knowing my mother had a condition known as sleep apnea (the same doctors who cleared her for her knee surgery are the very same doctors who diagnosed her with sleep apnea months earlier), they put my mother in an unmonitored recovery room (not even a clicker on her finger to monitor her, or to alert anyone in the hospital if there was an issue), and after dosing her out on morphine (which slows down the respiratory system even in people who don't have sleep apnea), she died. She went to this hospital to be able to walk her dog better. Instead, we lost her.
Nurses didn't even know what sleep apnea was at this hospital. Several who did, said "We don't give out sleep apnea CPAPS until 9:00 PM when they go to bed." My response was, "What time is bedtime when you're dosed out on morphine?"
I tried to get my mother to go to Brigham's, a hospital in Boston. They recommended aquatic therapy because of my mother's weight. She was not a candidate for the surgery, and yet was approved anyway. The Holy Family Hospital's recommendation? Total knee replacement with zero post care plans. In short, they ended her life. If the building didn't say "hospital," someone would be in jail. I filed a police report with the Methuen Police Department, and it took three visits just to get them to let me file it as they continuously tried to deny me the ability to do so.
I have had numerous discussions with John Kerry (the then US Senator of Massachusetts), and with state senator Bruce Tarr, who said he would be working on new law to change how sleep apnea patients are treated. He's done nothing to date, despite 30 U.S. Governor's issuing sleep apnea proclamations, most of which mention my mother by name. Unfortunately, many politicians in Massachusetts receive political contributions by the organization that owns the hospital.
My mother passed away just one week after we filmed the music video "At Fenway," which she is in and co-produced. It didn't help that the Boston Red Sox and the hospital are represented by the same public relations firm, but I give credit to Larry Lucchino, who I believe put a stop to the direction the PR firm was headed. The music video has now been added to The National Baseball Hall of Fame, and The Baseball Almanac.
The Massachusetts State Senate also issued my mother with two official citations, one while she was still with us, and one after she left us. She is also the co-author of my first novel "Horrorscope," and wrote the song "Croonerman," which will be on my next CD.
I could go on forever. There was simply no one like my mother, Helen Marie Bousquet.
Sleep Apnea has now become my cause. I am grateful that Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, live on stage during a show we performed recently, announced his support for The American Sleep Apnea Association. Please donate to them at sleepapnea.org.
William Shatner, who also has sleep apnea, has been a tremendous support and is even supporting my efforts to have a street named after my mother in Massachusetts.
I will be honest with you all, I lost my mind for a while after this happened to my mother. It took me a long time to get back up again, and I never in a million years imagined that everyone from my neighbors to Academy Award winners would come to my aid to see to it that I felt better.
Joan Rivers, who I was the opening act for and lost shortly after my mother, said it best: "I wish I could tell you it gets better. It doesn't get better. You get better."
One day at a time, I'm becoming the man my mother wanted me to be.
And I will not let her down, at least, I sure hope I never do.
- Brian Evans
February 2, 2016