Stanford Cardiology and Neurology Departments — medical malpractice resulting in permanent brain damage
David M. Hack
2597 Gary Dr.
Soquel, California 95073
This case is complicated because I have multiple health problems and there have been medical errors in my treatments from several different medical facilities. Specifically, Stanford Hospital and Santa Cruz County’s Psychiatric Health Facility (PHF). I have been lied to and misinformed by Stanford Hospital's neurosurgeons and cardiologists within their Neurology and Cardiology Departments as far back as 2004. As a result, I lost a steady and decently paid profession back in 2010, suffer from cognitive and psychological impairments, and have been driven to financial ruin and have placed unnecessarily difficult burdens on my wife, which has damaged my marriage. I have difficulty putting together cognitive thoughts and sentences which destroys my ability to write and remember random thoughts. My balance, which affects my ability to surf, kayak, mountain bike and other extreme sports I used to enjoy, is gone. The pain and numbness in my face, prevents me from playing my harmonica and clarinet, causes my teeth to be crushed together until they break. I have to take pain killers before any dental cleaning or dental work is to be performed as my dental records would prove. Because Stanford Hospitals Cardiology failed to provide me with my prescribed medication during open heart surgery, I ended up with severe brain damage. Because of this acquired condition and living with over a decade of pain, frustration and addiction to opioides and benzoids, with little hope of complete recovery or leading a normal life, I tried to take my own life back on November 6th 2015. This ended in being revived at Dominican Hospital (Dignity Health), only ironically, to be the recipient of further medical malpractice by the Telecare Santa Cruz PHF lock-down facility during November 8th-12th 2015 who, like Stanford Hospital in September 2014, removed the daily medications I had taken for years, thus triggering in me grand and petite mal seizures and psychosis, which led to another emergency ambulance ride to Dominican Hospitals ER, then neurological ward, hospitalization and permanent cognitive impairment.
My first examination came from Santa Cruz Neurologist Cathleen Miller, MD. Back in August 2004 she ordered an MRI and called me and told me that I had a brain tumor at the base of my brain, and the prognosis of a successful operation of my “trigeminal Schwannoma” was good. On October 14, 2004 Dr. Griffith Harsh a Stanford neurosurgeon and co-surgeon Dr. Robert K. Jackler damaged my trigeminal nerve during retraction while removing a benign brain tumor. After the surgery, I had severe and frequent pain and dizziness in my head and numbness on the left side of my face and mouth. Out of concern, I scheduled a return visit. Dr Harsh, I was told, would not be available for another six months. I waited and had another MRI and was told everything was fine. I was told to chew gum to relieve the numbness on the left side of my face. Still not satisfied, since my teeth and face were becoming disfigured and my jaw bone on the left side of my face was protruding with my teeth growing together, breaking the ones next to them as my dental records will show, I made a return visit and was told the same thing. The Stanford physicians never discussed my trigeminal neuralgia (which is damage to the trigeminal nerve) or its cause. I made a request for records from my neurology files and received a DVD showing a series of radiology images and nothing in writing even though I requested written reports. These images made no sense to me and my belief is that it was another stall tactic to try and hide the truth about the actual severity of my condition.
I decided to get a second opinion because I had long lost faith in Dr. Harsh’s opinions because the pain was unrelenting. I scheduled an appointment with another Santa Cruz neurologist, Dr. Joydip Bhattacharya in 2012, who took one look at me and told me I had trigeminal neuralgia because of the discoloring and facial distortions on my left side. He told me it is one of the most painful conditions know to man. All of these signs were there when I had cardiac and neurological appointments at Stanford.
I had received a discharge package from Stanford Hospital on October 17th 2004. In 2015, I found a sealed white envelope while digging through medical papers for 2014 tax reasons. In this sealed envelope was a 10 year old report from a caregiver named, Hazel Cabral and e-mailed from Thomson Health care, saying I had trigeminal neuralgia of the brain from the 2004 surgery. This document outlined every symptom and problem I had developed over the past decade. It did not say where my Trigeminal Neuralgia came from, that it was caused by my Neurologist Dr. Harsh. This document did tell me to call Stanford for help if I suffered any problems. I did call and was ignored.
On May 15th, 2013, I even drove myself to Stanford’s ER because I was awake for 2 nights with massive headaches and nerve seizures and ongoing numbness on the left side of my head. My discharge instructions stated that I suffered from a Headache, General, and Without Cause. What they did was give me morphine when I arrived in the morning and discharged me when I awoke that afternoon. They said there was no record of my having any medical problems pertaining to my complaint, even though there is a massive scar from the center of my head, in the hairline, all the way down to the front of my left ear. I have titanium plating and pins all through a large area where the cranial surgery was initially performed.
All my attempts to get Stanford to help me understand what had happened to me failed because they withheld information from me each and every time I had an appointment or procedure done with them. I have been trying for years to get an answer from Stanford as to why this brain tumor surgery had caused so much pain in my head, suffering, loss of balance, and cognitive impairment with memory, sequencing and focus. I was told on numerous visits that everything was fine. They never gave me an answer and thus did not work with me to get more control over the condition. However, I have finally obtained documents and explanations by other neurologists (Dr. De La Motte of Sutter Health Care and Dr. James hill of Stanford) who saw the doctor notes from Stanford that there was a surgical error. In hindsight, I believe that if they admitted to the surgical damage, I may have had dialogue with them to explore an adequate treatment to alleviate some of the symptoms. In addition, there has been no accountability or adequate medicines prescribed by Stanford to treat seizures I’ve been having all along.
In April 2014, I had finally convinced Stanford Neurology to take a look at my Trigeminal Neuralgia and showed up for the doctor’s visit. On my way to the doctor’s office, I collapsed in the Stanford Hospital entrance way. I was taken to cardio and given an “echocardiogram examination which showed my Ebstein’s Anomoly with a left ventricle outflow obstruction measuring 86mmHG at peak and severe tricuspid regurgitation with an estimated ejection fraction of 59%.” It was decided then that I needed the open heart surgery.
On September 2nd, 2014, after open-heart surgery for this heart condition I have had since birth, I had a bioprosthetic valve replacement and the installation of a hybrid duel chamber pacemaker. However, the doctors deprived me of my prescribed medications during my entire stay even after I reminded them of the medications importance to my well being. The withholding of this medication began to take its toll after surgery which resulted in triggering massive seizures and psychosis. This occurred even after my now retired primary care physician, Dr. Bernard Hilberman, told me to make sure I received my prescribed medications while under Stanford’s care, and called the Stanford Cardiology Department and informed them that improper procedures in taking me off these medications could result in more brain damage or death. I had been taking 10MG oxycodone four times per day and 1 MG alprazolam four times per day to try and ease the pain coming from my head and manage the chronic pain disorder I suffered from. My stay at Stanford turned from an initial plan for a 5-day heart operation and stay, into three weeks at Stanford and one week in a managed health care facility in Santa Cruz. This unexpected lengthy hospitalization was due to my observable psychoses which resulted in cognitive damage from massive and continuous seizures over many days. This has had a degenerative effect on my physicality and mental state. So much so, that I gave up hope and tried to end my life on November 6th 2015. A few months after the open heart surgery, I had to return to Stanford to have my pacemaker surgically removed and a faulty wire (more permanent wire, as Stanford put it) replaced, and was strictly given the medications I was not allowed before, religiously, by the hospital staff, probably to keep me from having go through what I went through before, being taken screaming from the ICU to the Neurology ward for days of continuous neurological monitoring.
I feel I am owed some form of monetary compensation for the malpractice committed by Stanford Hospital and the PHF where once again, because the attending physician did not attend to my medicinal needs, I was taken, by ambulance, to the Emergency Room at Dominican Hospital on November 12th 2015. My family can testify that I was actually having seizures the day before I was taken to Dominican ER while at the PHF lockdown facility and that family members informed the PHF facility staff multiple times that I would seizure if my medication was removed. This near fatal situation at the hands of medical professionals is well documented in a lack of administration of medicine in my discharge papers from this facility.
This situation occurred after a scathing Santa Cruz County civil grand jury report on May 21st 2014, attacking the Santa Cruz County jail staff and medical personnel for allowing 7-inmate deaths in an 11-month period.
While at Dominican Hospital this past November, and with dialogue between the physicians, psychiatrist, myself and my wife, I began the required treatment to eliminate my opioide addiction with great success. I was released from a psychiatric hold on November 12th rather than the 14-day hold that was placed on me, which would have ended on November 25th, 2015. I am currently off oxycodone, doing so by following the proper procedure of weaning off the medication gradually. My dosage of benzoids has been lowered gradually as well, and I now take 1-MG clonazepam twice daily along with 500-MG Levetiracetam (antiseizure medication) twice daily. These medications are prescribed by my current primary care health physician, Dr. Goodman and my new neurologist, Dr. De La Motte, since I will not go back to Stanford Medical because of the mistrust I feel about their staff. This includes not discussing the surgical damage they cause in removing my brain tumor or having a dialogue with me about the effectiveness of any of the medications they did prescribe, and the way my primary care physician and I were ignored and mislead, especially since we were promised that my medications would be administered, but were intentionally withheld.
In summation, I was not only being treated for a brain tumor during this timeframe but a congenital heart condition, Ebstiens’s anomaly/WPW, in which I underwent several operations and visits to the Dominican Hospital ER. To be frank, I was busy worrying about keeping my heart beating rather than putting time into salvaging my brain. Since my heart condition has gone full circle I feel it is time to concentrate on the brain tumor malpractice issue since my mental state has been irreversibly damage do to cover-up and neglect.
P.S. I would like to follow this with a complete health history to establish my health priorities through the past 15-years showing why I put the brain tumor on the back burner until my heart condition was resolved.
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