Her name is passed from one desperate family to another like an amulet.

In phone conversations and online chat rooms, she’s mentioned at moments when the devout might call on a patron saint. A baby born with a deformed skull? “Call Laurie.” An impossibly expensive cancer treatment? “Call Laurie.”

Laurie Todd isn’t a doctor, or a lawyer, or a hospital chaplain. She’s a 66-year-old former massage therapist.

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