NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A North Texas woman is suing a surgeon and cancer center, claiming they left tumors inside her and took out part of a healthy organ instead.
Bernice Gomez, 63, said she has now undergone more than 30 procedures since November 2016 to repair the damage done and treat new complications that resulted from the mistake.
Her lawsuit, filed this month against Dr. Sujeet Acharya and Texas Oncology, is seeking more than a million dollars in damages.
Gomez, who worked full time for a heating and air conditioning company, and said she was rarely sick, said she started experiencing intense pain in her side in the summer of 2016. She said doctors found tumors on both of her adrenal glands and diagnosed her with neuroendocrine carcinoma.
Immediately after surgery on November 14, 2016, which the suit says took several hours longer than expected, she said she knew something was wrong.
“I remember telling them that I’m not going to make it,” she said Friday. “I was in so much pain, and I couldn’t breathe.”
As her condition became worse, Gomez learned weeks later from another doctor, that her tumors and adrenal glands were still in place, but 40 percent of her pancreas had been removed. Pancreatic fluid was leaking into her body.
“And I just broke down, because I didn’t know, what happens from here,” Gomez said. “Is it a quick fix? Am I going to be ok?”
Her attorney, John Hart, said post-operative reports actually describe a perfect surgery, that notes the tumors and adrenal glands being removed. However, a lab report on the tissue, notes the lab received only healthy pancreatic tissue.
“It notes that great care was taken not to injure other organs, including the pancreas,” Hart said. “In fact, that surgery didn’t happen. That was fictitious.”
Gomez said since surgery, she has developed diabetes, blood clots, and is receiving chemotherapy for the tumors that are still inside of her.
Texas Oncology responded to questions about the suit with a statement saying, “We don’t comment on patients’ cases in the interest of protecting their privacy. Also, we are unable to comment on pending litigation. We would point out that the attorneys have misrepresented the facts in this matter, and we expect to resolve that appropriately through the legal process.”