Beware prospective transplant patient because you too can fall into the bureaucratic and systemic failures experienced by my family and have no recourse against this type of conduct, nor financial redress because of Florida statutes that
protect the physician and hospital under these conditions.
The nightmare began March 5,2010 when we received a call from Shands University staff that a liver match was found for my mother Sylvia Vazquez. After being surgically prepped, she was reassured that all would go well and that she was blessed with this opportunity. Thereafter, I was directed to the family lounge where I
could wait to receive updates of the surgery. After 3 hours I received a phone call from Liise Kayler, the primary
surgeon. She stated that the liver was rejected because it was too large for my mothers body cavity. The physician stated that based upon her initial visual assessment she thought the donor and receiver were a good weight and size match. However, when she opened the patient she saw a potential problem with placement. She added that Sylvia would probably not survive.
Although I waited in the family hospital lounge, the physician never offered us the option of accepting or declining the liver or a choice to resection. She proceeded anyway to an outcome that kept my mother in the critical care unit
for about 3 to 4 months and forever changed the course of my life, my sisters health and created a level of stress and anxiety that resulted in my grandmothers (Sylvias Mom) death on January 5,2012.
As a consequence of the physicians poor judgment, my mother sustained damage to the heart, Lungs, kidneys, etc. The kidneys experienced irreversible damage and do not function today. It is directly related to the oversized liver which
complicated the procedure by the doctors own admission. Sylvia is now on 3 days dialysis. Her quality of life continues to deteriorate along with adding cost of care, suffering and more sickness.
Please note mother had a liver shunt performed at this facility in 2008 against her local Gastroenterologist advice. She later was persuaded by Shands physicians that this procedure would improve the quality of life by reducing the recurring
fluid retention problem associated with her liver disease. Additionally, they represented that it would allow her more time to live and wait for the a donor. This turned out to be the wrong advise and resulted in a battery of complications which created a new set of problems and frequently ended in debilitating encephalopathy, edema and countless visits to their emergency room for more treatments of the terrible side effects associated with placing a shunt in her liver. A Shands hospital gastro specialist later commented that Sylvia was not a good candidate for the shunt procedure.
To date I have received no explanation as to why I was not consulted before proceeding. They appear to be stonewalling. We did recently received a written and vague explanation from the hospital. One year after the trauma. They directly blame an unknown systemic issue associated with the matching protocol for the liver donor and recipient and deny any wrongdoing.
I have practiced private investigations for 30 years. It is clear to any person with common sense that there are multiple systemic failures that led to this dreadful outcome. Problems that could have been easily averted had the university and physician properly done their respective homework about the liver compatibility.
Moreover, after consulting with a Florida hospital risk management director who has 30 years experience with hospital
risk management issues, she concurred that there is a systemic and informed consent problem associated with the event. Additionally, there also appears to be an issue with UNOS, the private agency responsible for matching the liver
with the patient.
After the procedure I conducted a brief profile of said physician and uncovered multiple mal-practice complaints filed in other states, with settlements. To date no one can tell us why this information was not disclosed to the family.
I stayed at my mothers bedside for the 9 months she was hospitalized and kept a chronological video history of the events surrounding the tragedy.
We encourage anyone who has experienced problems with said physician to share their story by leaving a message at telephone number 206.279.4261 or 818 881.3908. It is not right that anyone should be subjected to this unprofessional behavior by the surgeon and other members of Shands University Hospital.
Please help us change Florida statues that shield physicians and university hospitals from escaping responsibility for their egregious actions.
Detectal Investigation 18075 Ventura Boulevard Encino CA 91316 Tele: 818.881.3908.