By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Wrong! The innocence of having an afternoon snack changed the life of a vibrant, newly married woman forever. Not only has my physical appearance changed because of more than 13 hours of corrective maxiofacial surgery, but I also endure constant pain, swelling, and embarrassing red streaking across my face. The physical therapy immediately following surgery was nothing short of torture. I endured electrical stimulation to help recover the movement in my damaged facial muscles and radiation treatments to help reduce the effects of scarring after such a radical total joint-replacement surgery.
I worked arduously to recover from that devastating bite into an Otis Spunkmeyer cookie. This isn't a hot coffee spill on your lap. The scars are right there on my face and neck every day. There hasn't been a totally pain-free day since the incident in November 1990. I have endured more than a decade of living with an injury that caused facial deformity and relentless pain and required the use of prescription pain medicines and heating pads wrapped around my head to help control the pain.
This is an injury that I, as well as my husband and two young children, have to live with every day. My husband warns the children to "watch out for Mama's head" as they play around me. Snuggles and hugs from the children--my 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son--bump screws and metal plates in my face that generate extreme pain. A tight squeeze from my son brings tears to my eyes, but I endure the pain for the love of my children.
Bill Hart was relentless in his refusal to acknowledge my injuries. He accused me of seeking life-changing compensation. Was the price I paid for one of their cookies worth what I received in return? I was injured by a product that should have been safe for human consumption. Otis Spunkmeyer has spent a small fortune fighting this case, but I am not going away. I'm fighting for my right to be protected as a consumer, and I'm fighting for acknowledgment of my pain and suffering.
Janet E. Graham