A Mural for a Cancer Patient Tells a Story of Broken Healthcare

Regina Holliday prepares her supplies for a day of painting. Photo by Maggie Starbard, NPR.
Regina Holliday prepares her supplies for a day of painting. Photo by Maggie Starbard, NPR.

Regina Holliday has painted a mural on the side of a gas station in Washington DC to tell the story of a day in her husband Fred's struggle with broken healthcare. At ge 39, Fred was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer.

Regina Holliday's mural in memory of husband Fred's struggle.
Regina Holliday's mural in memory of husband Fred's struggle.
Fred and Regina's story has been covered by AOL, local ABC TV and now by NPR reporter Joseph Shapiro, who says:

The mural tells the story of a horrible day back in the spring. Fred was being transferred to a new hospital and Regina needed records of Fred's many tests and treatments from the old hospital.

"I had gone down to medical records," Holliday says, "and they said, 'That'll be 73 cents a page and a 21-day wait.' I said, 'My husband is upstairs with Stage IV kidney cancer in your hospital and you're telling me I have to wait 21 days? Everything's on the computer. All you got to do is print it out and you're going to make me wait 21 days?' And they're like, 'Yeah, that's just the way it is.' I was floored."

A spokeswoman for that hospital says, for privacy reasons, it can't speak about a specific patient, but that it routinely sends records with a patient who's being transferred to a new hospital.

Watch the video and read and listen to the full story at NPR, All Things Considered.