By Jack Fink

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DUNCANVILLE (CBS11) – Ever since Debra Wilson had a heart-related procedure at Parkland Hospital in November, 2007, she says she’s never felt quite right.

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Then in 2012, while back at the hospital, she says a staffer delivered startling news.

“Ms. Wilson, you have a tube on your aorta and I said, what?!”

It’s difficult to see on Wilson’s x-ray, but the tube was left in her aorta after her procedure.

The staffer told her the tube is 20 centimeters or about eight inches long.

“He says it was a stent.”

So she says she didn’t worry.

But that changed in September of last year, when she says a Parkland cardiologist told her the tube is actually a piece of a catheter.

According to Wilson, “She said did anyone ever talk to you about the catheter that’s in your aorta? I said okay, yes, he told me it was a stent. And she said that’s not a stent. That’s a broken piece of tube. Just knowing it shouldn’t be there, that’s what bothers me.”

She says her doctors told her the piece of catheter became embedded and calcified in her aorta and required treatment.

“It was producing clots and that’s caused most of the problem.”

Parkland’s records show doctors repeatedly discussed the tube left in her aorta for years, saying it “has been present since November 3, 2007” two days after her procedure.

But Wilson and her husband say no one from Parkland ever told them before last year.

Charlie Wilson says, “All the time we had been going, checking her, no one said anything. For years, we were still in the dark.”

Debra Wilson says, “Oh man, I was terrified.”

Debra Wilson (CBS11)

Debra and Charlie Wilson (CBS11)

The Wilsons hired an attorney and filed a lawsuit against Parkland.

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Hospital representatives declined comment on the lawsuit.

But in court papers, Parkland’s attorneys say they want the case thrown out because they say the two year statute of limitations already ran out and because Mrs. Wilson failed to file a claim against

Parkland within six months of the injury, back in 2007.

The Wilsons’ attorney Brad Kizzia says, “I think it’s a ridiculous argument. She couldn’t have told them something she didn’t know. Here we have a public hospital with responsibilities to the public and citizens of Dallas County, for them to take that position is outrageous.”

Studies have shown there are thousands of cases nationwide of doctors leaving surgical equipment and supplies in patients.

Under Texas law, Parkland Hospital was supposed to report the incident to the state.

But state records from 2007 are now unavailable.

I asked Parkland if they reported the case, but they wouldn’t comment.

As for Debra Wilson, she says removing the piece of catheter after all these years would be challenging.

She says she still has pain in her abdomen, trouble walking, and relies on daily medication.

Wilson says the prescription costs and doctor co-pays are expensive.

She still receives treatment at Parkland.

Wilson says she feels, “Afraid, frustrated, irritated, and angry.”

She says no one at the hospital apologized to her.

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