If the story about the woman diagnosed with "ghetto booty" didn't horrify you enough, here's another story out of Texas of a woman misdiagnosed with ... stage IV terminal breast cancer. Ugh. Herlinda Garcia's doctor, the late Dr. Ahmad I. Qadri, misread the results of a PET/CT scan and incorrectly thought she had enlarged lymph nodes. The mistake was not noticed until after Garcia had basically been through hell and back, believing she was dying of breast cancer! WOW.
In 2009, Garcia underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor from her left breast, so when Dr. Qadri said she had breast cancer about a month later, she didn't question it. The mother of four gave away her belongings and wrote a bucket list. She proceeded to undergo seven months of chemotherapy treatment and was given anxiety meds to help cope with stress. It wasn't until 2011 that Garcia found out she had been cancer-free since April 2009! Absolutely outrageous.
She found out when she was being treated for anxiety (huh, I wonder why!) and one physician had a hunch Garcia was a-okay, which was confirmed via testing. In fact, according to the medical malpractice lawsuit Garcia filed, "all of Dr. Qadri's treatment had been unnecessary." What. A. Nightmare.
Last week, Garcia was awarded $367,500 in damages against her doctor (which were awarded from his estate, being that he passed away in March of this year). But no amount of money is enough to make up for what she went through.
Hopefully, stories like this only serve to reinforce the importance of getting a second opinion or third or whatever it takes to feel assured that you're getting the right, satisfying answers and treatment plan. I also feel like Garcia's anxiety may have had a lot to do with her intuition telling her that the diagnosis was wrong!
Thank goodness Garcia is no longer living her life in fear of death. With hope, this story inspires others to always ask questions, feel empowered as patients to always ask questions and trust our guts -- just as much or MORE than anyone in a white coat.
What do you make of this horror story? How do you feel about always getting a second opinion?