A New South Wales man is set to sue his local medical centre after he was allegedly diagnosed with cancer and had 80 per cent of stomach removed – only to be told there was no tumour to begin with.
In 2009 the victim went to his local hospital complaining of chest pains that he thought were due to intense reflux.
He underwent a gastroscopic procedure to determine the cause of his discomfort, during which several biopsy samples were taken.
The pathology department returned a report that indicated the victim was suffering from an aggressive form of stomach cancer – details that later turned out to be incorrect.
He told reporters that at the time the results were very distressing to him and his family, asserting: "My wife just fell apart, she didn't stop crying for three days."
After the biopsy results had been returned the man immediately began chemotherapy treatments which made him "very ill" ahead of his surgery.
On January 29 2010 the man underwent a gastrectomy that removed 80 per cent of his stomach in an attempt to get rid of the supposed tumours.
Six weeks later during the post-operative review he was informed by the surgeons that he did not in fact have cancer at all.
Official documents submitted to the NSW Supreme Court show that the doctors who performed the man's surgery were unable to find any sign of the malignant disease they were supposed to be removing.
"I was told that the tissue taken from me during that gastrectomy was examined through the pathology department … and the lymph nodes that were taken out showed no evidence of cancer," said the victim.
The claim files state: "After independent pathological review the biopsies taken during the gastroscopy, the biopsy findings were wrong in that there was never any evidence of malignancy."
He is still "very angry" about the entire affair, telling reporters: "Psychologically I am not over what has happened I don't know if I ever will. I still have the dreams about it and wake up in a sweat about it. I have lost about 20 kilograms in weight."
The pain and suffering experienced by the man and his family will likely be taken into account by the courts as his claim progresses, as will his need for ongoing medical treatments.
Medical negligence lawyers are able to help victims gain access to payments that can help cover the ongoing costs of medication and rehabilitation therapies.
To help lower the initial costs of launching a compensation claim, a no win no fee law firm can give victims access to the experience required to explore their legal options.