BOSTON, April 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When Haverhill native and current Maui resident Brian Evans lost his mother following sleep apnea, to say he didn't take it well would be an understatement.
Immediately, Evans wrote to every congressman in the United States, every U.S. Senator, and even the President. Evans complaint was simple. His mother, who had sleep apnea, was cleared for a routine knee surgery by the very doctors who diagnosed her with sleep apnea months earlier. She died following the knee surgery. Evans has initiated litigation against the Methuen hospital. Without her CPAP (a mask used by sleep apnea patients), she was placed on morphine and brought into an unmonitored recovery room to recuperate.
Realizing how little he knew about Sleep Apnea, and realizing there was nothing he could do to bring her back, he began a campaign to have every governor in the United States issue a Sleep Apnea Proclamation. The first governor he approached, then-governor Deval Patrick, denied his request. Brian's mother, Helen Marie Bousquet, was born, and then died there in Massachusetts.
30 other states had a different opinion, issuing Sleep Apnea proclamations, many of which mentions Mrs. Bousquet by name. These were many states she'd never stepped foot in.
Then, Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts was elected.
"Everyone told me he'd be the governor to do it, and unlike Deval Patrick, he had the courage to go against the wind and he has now issued a Proclamation for April 18th, 2016," says Evans. All of the proclamations to date have been posted on his mothers website, helenbousquet.com. It took Evans up to two letters to receive a proclamation from all of the other state governors. It took Evans having to write 41 to finally have Massachusetts provide the proclamation. "The moment I tweeted the Governor, he let me know he'd look into it and he stood up. Good on him."
"95% of American do not know they have sleep apnea. We have grown accustomed to just nudging a snoring loved one while we try to sleep...but they could be dying. If a loved one is snoring a lot, make them, drag them, to get a sleep apnea test. It could save their life," says Evans, her son.
Evans also asks that people visit sleepapnea.org. Academy Award Winner Jeff Bridges has already announced his support of Brian's mission in his most recent Twitter "tweet", and Oscar winner Tom Hanks introduces his mothers website.
Actor William Shatner has also written letters for Evans in support of his mother.
Prior to her passing, Helen co-produced the music video "At Fenway," which has received more than 11 million views and features Shatner as the home plate umpire. She also co-wrote songs for her son and was an avid writer herself.
"It is my hope that the Governor somehow honors my mother in the future for the national attention she has brought to this condition. I receive letters daily from people all over the world stating that learning of my mother may have saved their lives after they got a Sleep Apnea test after reading about my mom. She once told me she hoped she made a difference with her life. Well, over 30 governors have now told her she did, as did the National Baseball Hall of Fame for her work on "At Fenway," says Evans. The National Baseball Hall of Fame added the song, written by Brian Evans, and the video, co-produced by his mother, to their library in 2013. Evans says he has been communicating with Haverhill mayor James Fiorentini of finding a way to honor his mother as well.
"This story is about her. Let us not forget who did the hard part. All I have done is write letters, which fails in comparison on every level. She's still my mother to this very day, the only one I'll ever have. She wasn't part of my family, she was my entire family."
"Everything I have ever done that is good is because of her, so thank you, Governor Baker, for letting it be known she was not forgotten," Evans concludes.
Evans says he intends to seek a meeting with the Governor when he next visits Boston, with a few of his celebrity friends, to discuss creating a law in Massachusetts where Sleep Apnea patients can never be placed in an unmonitored recovery room. State senator Bruce Tarr advised Evans he would seek to assist in that, a law that would be named for his mother.
"I thank everyone, but also apologize to anyone who felt my wrath in my grief," says Evans. "This is about her, not me. I am now her legacy, and I will do my best to make her proud of the dreams of her own that she gave up so that I could live mine."
Brian's Twitter page is twitter.com/croon1 for those interested in following his developments.
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SOURCE Brian Evans