Dr. Kimball Ladien--A Brief Biography-- A 50 Year Journey Towards Safe Havens and Peace
With her IQ of 185, seven languages and encyclopedic knowledge of History, Science and Culture, Dr. Kimball Ladien’s mother, Julia, had made him a heroine addict from early childhood to this very day. Similarly, Kim’s father, Edward, owned a small dimestore in which all three children (Karen, Kenneth and Kimball) would take turns working. Edward always said that he was teaching his children Discipline and the importance of Hard Work. He succeeded, for which Kim is always grateful.
Julia and Edward grew up during the Great Depression during which they both suffered significant hardships. Julia’s father lost his job and their house. Edward’s father simply left so his family could get support. After Edward’s two older brothers died in car accidents, he was his mother’s sole support. Edward and his friends would sell fruits and vegetables on the street and eat what they didn’t sell.
Both Julia and Edward, as well as Kim’s grandparents, would tell stories about the Depression. But, despite all the hardships, people would often sleep in the parks or on the beaches in the summer to stay cool without worrying about their safety. So too with leaving doors unlocked or playing with friends even after dark. These were Not matters of Money, they were Matters of VALUES. These stories have stayed with Kim throughout his life and were, in many ways, the genesis of Safe Haven.
In second grade, Kim met his beloved wife and soulmate of over 50 years, Sylvia, when Julia was their Sunday school teacher. Kim became the youngest patrol boy in the history of Wicker Park Elementary School (now Pritzker) when he joined in the fourth grade just to be on the corner where Sylvia lived. Some of Kim and Sylvia’s fondest memories were of walking together to school, talking all the way.
While in high school and beyond, Kim was very much influenced by the Vietnam War. While Kim believed that there were very serious problems for people in both the North and the South, he had thought a peaceful settlement could be found. Kim’s first anti-War poem, “Know Other Way,” was banned from the Lane Tech Prep in 1968. Kim has continued his quest for Peace to this very day.
In 1969, just after starting at the University of Illinois Circle Campus, Kim learned that two of Sylvia’s and his friends from elementary school died in the same week. One friend, Larry, was shot to death on the steps of his house in “the old neighborhood” in a gang-related incident. Their other friend, George, died half a world away in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Kim vowed then and there—to God, George and Larry-- to devote the rest of his life to ending Violence, from in homes to gangs to wars, to the best of his ability-- and continues to do so now, some 50 years later.
While Sylvia and Kim both had routinely gotten 95-99%-ile scores on tests throughout their lives (Sylvia, like Julia, had an IQ of 185), the one 99%-ile score for which Kim was most proud was on the Science Section of the MCATs. As always, Kim’s goal was to learn as much as he could, which is exactly what he did. Kim also happened to get 97 and 95%-ile results on the Vocabulary and General Knowledge sections of the MCATs, but did no “studying” for these sections at all. Kim also got 98 and 97%-iles on the two sections of the LSAT, but the only “studying” he did for that was to reread the Constitution the night before the test. Kim has always felt it important to bring the Worlds of Science and Law together.
With these test results in hand, Kim “cashed in” by spending the next 10 years studying the neuroanatomical, neurophysiological, neuropharmacological, electrophysiological and behavioral correlates of Brain Information Processing. Not only is the brain the one “tool” that makes all of the other tools, understanding human behavior from the genetic to synaptic to macroeconomic levels was fundamental if these problems were ever to be solved. (Who is Hari Zeldon?) During this time, Kim made approximately $3000/year, ate lots of potatoes and lived in an electric blanket during the winter.
When Kim finally did go to Rush Medical College, he won multiple awards for his work including being one of 15 semi-finalists in an HHS competition in Preventive Medicine for his paper on “Workfare Interventions in the Welfare System.” This was Kim’s first formal paper concerning his work on Safe Haven which has continued now for over 30 years. Other awards were related to Kim’s Brain Research.
Kim will always be also proud that, for his first official as a physician and a Medical Director, he cut in half his salary precisely so that he could devote himself full-time to implementing his Safe Haven programs which he has always done pro bono. Kim has always tried to live a simple life helping others.
In 1993, Dr. Ladien became Medical Director at St. Mary’s Hospital precisely to implement Safe Haven in Kankakee, Illinois. But, as described in Safe Haven’s Epilogue, the then-CEO with a few calls was able to KILL Safe Haven dead in its tracks. The CEO’s “rationale” was “We don’t want to be known as the Black Hospital.” Such is the nature of Arrogance, Stupidity and Systematic Abusers of Power (ASSs).
Dr. Ladien returned to Chicago to become the Chair of Psychiatry at Grant Hospital for many years until the Hospital closed and his beloved wife, Sylvia, developed leukemia secondary to over-radiation. Both hospitals involved have still Criminally Refused to release Sylvia’s Cumulative Radiation Dose (CRD).
After 17 months of literally living together in hospital rooms, Kim reached out to the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas who had first developed Sylvia’s Chemotherapy Protocol and now were studying Monoclonal Antibodies (MAbs) for the treatment of Cancer. It was agreed that Sylvia would be one of their first patients to receive this ground-breaking new treatment.
For reasons that are still not completely clear, despite having been on staff for some 15 years, Kim was banned from the hospital and even seeing Sylvia for his WHISTLEBLOWING advocacy for Sylvia in her time of need and proper care. Sylvia, as a Mystery Writer, was investigating matters still “unsolved.”
Finally, after almost a month’s delay, within days of starting MAbs, Sylvia’s blast cell count was zero and her vital signs were stable off of Presser medications. Simply put, Sylvia was getting better. Despite this improvement, however, the Hospital deliberately ignored Sylvia’s multiple Advanced Directives to be Full Code and for Kim to be her POA. Why this happened is a story yet untold. But Time will tell.
When Kim Warned the Hospital that “If Sylvia dies and she is Not Full Code then, in addition to being Gross Malpractice, this will be MANSLAUGHTER,” he was again barred from the hospital and seeing Sylvia. Sylvia’s unneeded morphine drip was increased to the point that she was not only fully sedated, she could barely swallow. For Seven Days, Hospital Officials watched as Sylvia slowly Drowned to Death on her own secretions when she could have easily been SAVED with basic Standard of Care procedures. “It’s like putting down a dog,” one of Sylvia’s doctors “explained.” But Sylvia was NEVER a dog.
Sylvia Died Not of her treated iatrogenic leukemia. Sylvia died of Arrogance, Stupidity and Systematic Abuse of Power (ASSs). But so have Millions of others throughout History. Kim has vowed to spend his remaining years Fighting ASSs to the absolute best of his ability. Let all of these sacrifices Not be in vain.
Sylvia would never want to Taj Mahal as a legacy, but she would very greatly appreciate sharing PEACE with ALL of God’s children. So too with Julia, Edward, George, Larry and all other victims of ASSs throughout the Ages. In this as in all things, let God’s Will be done. So it shall be. KLBioShort24Oct15