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Actor Dennis Quaid Speaks About Saving Lives

  • Published: 2010-07-22 : AARP.
  • Synopsis: Actor and activist Dennis Quaid opens up in AARP The Magazine about the worst day of his life.

Main Document

From Actor to Activist, Dennis Quaid Speaks Candidly About This New Job: Saving Lives

Nearly three years after the near deaths of his newborn twins, actor and activist Dennis Quaid opens up in the September/October issue of AARP The Magazine about the worst day of his life. During what should have been a routine treatment for staph infections, his twins were accidentally overdosed with the blood thinner heparin at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. An international news frenzy followed, and Dennis Quaid and his wife were left outraged and in shock. "They were bleeding out of every place where they'd been poked and prodded," Quaid tells AARP The Magazine. The incident has since spurred Quaid to take action in the hopes of preventing medical accidents from happening to others. Says Quaid, "We didn't want to sue the hospital because we need really good hospitals...Cedars spent millions on electronic record keeping, bedside bar coding, computerized physician-order entry systems to improve patient safety. I have to commend them for that." Read what Quaid has to say about his new career as an activist, being a parent, and what he believes ultimately saved his children's lives:

On Seeing his Children Suffer

"We could see them [Cedars Sinai medical staff] working on the kids. It was chilling"

"Initially, I felt this really couldn't be happening. Then I felt fear and helplessness."

"They were really in a lot of discomfort, crying. It had to be painful."

On issues with the Medical Care provided to the Quaid Children

"Companies recall dog food! Why weren't they [medicine in packaging known to have caused deadly administration] recalled"

"We're not here to denigrate health care workers. They have dedicated their lives to treating human suffering and they're overworked."

"There is a reason that flying a commercial airliner today is safer than walking. It's because when an accident happens, the NTSB makes a determination about what happened. Airline executives know they need to solve the problem quickly, whether it's a change in design or a new piece of technology, or people aren't going to fly their airline."

On Thomas Boone and Zoey Grace's Legacy

"...A lot of people told us later that they were praying for our babies. In the end, I believe that the power of prayer from so many is what saved them. It's so obvious to me that a higher power in the universe is controlling what's going on."

"I thought, 'They're 12 days old, and they're going to change the world."

"They're really tough, and they should be proud. Because of what happened to them, they already saved lives."

"This is their legacy."

On Starting a Family Later in Life

"We had just about given up."

"We gave it one more shot and found out it was twins - a boy and a girl!"

"Being a parent is one of my favorite things in life."

"It's one of the most challenging experiences, and one of the most rewarding."

Extended audio and video interviews with Dennis Quaid are available exclusively online at

About AARP The Magazine -With more than 35.1 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine ( is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 23.5 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.

About AARP -AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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