“You think of a doctor as God and that he’s going to fix everything.” Those are the words spoken by Bernice Gomez, 63, who went into her surgery thinking that surgeon Dr. Sujeet Acharya and the team at Texas Oncology were going to remove the cancerous tumors on her adrenal glands and make everything better. Gomez was diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma in the summer of 2016 and went in for her operation on November 14 of that same year. The surgery “took longer than expected,” but according to the team, it was successful. In fact, according to sources close to Gomez, Acharya told the family that “the adrenal gland and tumor were completely removed and that she was cancer free.” So, if that was the case, why was Bernice still in pain?
Surgery Gone Awry
Gomez said that after the surgery, she told the oncology team that she was in so much pain, she did not think she was going to make it. “I was in so much pain, and I couldn’t breathe,” she shared with CBSDFW. According to her, the pain was likely someone “continually stabbing you.” After living with the excruciating pain for a few weeks, Gomez decided to get the second opinion of another doctor. It turns out that Gomez’s tumors had not, in fact, been removed, as she had been told. However, nearly half of her pancreas had been and, as a result, pancreatic fluid was leaking into her body.
Since that surgery in November of 2016, Gomez has undergone 30 different procedures to both repair the damage that had been done and treat new complications that resulted from the “mishap.” She has filed a lawsuit for nearly $1 million in damages, which will help her pay for her medical expenses and adjust to her new life. The tumors are still in place, and doctors are waiting for her to heal a bit more from her last surgery before conducting another to remove what should have been removed more than a year ago. In the meantime, she cannot work or enjoy life; her life has since been confined to surgery and recovery.
Gomez’s attorney, John Hart, claims that his client’s situation is not one of happenstance. “This is not a circumstance where the surgeon accidentally nicked the pancreas,” he told Star-Telegram. “That is not what happened. It wasn’t a slight mistake. He went in and took out half of the pancreas.”
“You think of a doctor as God and that he’s going to fix everything,” Gomez said. “And he did the reverse.”
What to do When Medical Malpractice Happens to You
Gomez, fortunately, has a skilled attorney by her side to help her through this complex and trying time of her life. Hopefully Hart and his legal team can achieve justice for Gomez in the form of a monetary award that is enough to help her rebuild her life. Hopefully you and your loved ones never find yourselves in the same situation that Gomez and her family is in, but if you do, know that you have legal rights, and that a compassionate and experienced Dallas medical malpractice attorney can help you fight for them. Do not let such gross negligence go unpunished, and reach out to the team at Udeshi Clark and Associates to start building your case today.
(image courtesy of Piron Guillaume)