An Ohio man and his family are suing the University of Toledo Medical Center after a nurse accidentally threw away his kidney. The kidney was supposed to be transplanted from the man to his sister, but was mistaken for medical waste and tossed in the trash. ABC News reporter Alex Perez, spoke with the siblings who shared their story on August 30, 2013.
Sarah Fudacz, 25, was diagnosed in March of 2012 with chronic kidney failure and would need a transplant to survive. She was given hope when doctors said her brother, Paul Fadacz, 21, was the perfect match.
In August of 2012 Sarah went into the operating believing she was receiving the gift of life and woke up to a horrible ordeal.
“I thought this was going to be the end of it and I’d finally start feeling better,” Sarah said.
Sarah said she knew something had gone wrong when she lifted her shirt and there was no incision. Paul said it was clear to him when he saw his sister “walking around fine, while he was laying in bed in a lot of pain.”
“Somebody wasted part of my brother,” Sarah told ABC News. “I should have been recovering….They threw away my life…they threw away something that meant so much to me.”
Sarah had to spend an additional three months on dialysis before another kidney was found in Denver, Colorado. In the lawsuit, it is alleged that Sarah “suffered through painful dialysis, four painful surgeries and forced to live with the uncertainty of whether she would ever find a kidney suitable for transplant before dying.”
Sarah, Paul, their parents and their other five siblings have filed a lawsuit against UTMC for medical negligence. They are also trying to recover damages for pain and suffering.
While it has been admitted by UTMC that a nurse threw away the kidney, they are asking a state court to dismiss the lawsuit.
University chancellor and dean of the College of Medicine, Dr. Jeffery P. Gold apologized in a prepared statement after the botched transplant.
UTMC spokeswoman told ABCNews.com that there would be no comment on the legal case. However, she did give a written statement in July saying the medical center was still “saddened by this unfortunate situation and express our deepest feelings to our patients and their families. Out of this difficult situation health care quality has been dramatically transformed.”
According to court documents, the surgeon who performed the surgery continues to work at UTMC.
The administrator of surgical services was placed on paid administrative leave.
The nurse who threw away Paul’s kidney before the surgery was complete, resigned September 10, 2012.
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