Ok, I know what you’re thinking; Murphy’s Law never takes a vacation. Yes, anything that can go wrong may go wrong. But, success is said to be when preparation and opportunity merge. Thus, when the top notch eye surgeon who was a close friend sat down with us we listened. As a medical doctor and close friend he counseled that my wife’s weight would as time went on create major health problems. The popular solution was a simple stomach stapling operation. And, his colleague at the famous hospital where he worked was just the surgeon to do it.
After a bad experience with a gall bladder operation I was reluctant to agree to another medical operation so soon. But, my wife was very excited about wearing jeans and tight tops again. Her beautiful face, even with her weight, made other guys stop and stare. Once past the looking stage everyone fell in love with her due to her personality and charm. We often joked that she should have been the one with a career. Few could resist her and with her keen mind the sky would have been the limit.
Before long we found ourselves in the office of the surgeon. He truly was an impressive person. His accolades included national television appearances to discuss obesity and the excellent option of stomach stapling to correct the problem. We felt privileged to have been accepted as a patient. Nothing like the “juice” of networking. Without our doctor friend this famous surgeon wouldn’t have given us the time of day.
The day of the operation arrived. Everyone was nervous. My wife’s mother had flown in for support. I truly appreciated it as much as my wife. Armed with the knowledge that the best hospital and doctor had been found we trudged confidently through the check in and watched as my wife was carted off on the gurney.
As we waited in the family area for patients having surgery we suddenly became aware that the simple procedure was taking a very long time. The estimate of less than a half hour had long past. It was going on two hours. Something must have happened. A flash came into my brain of what I would do without my wife and mother of our two children. Quickly I forced it away.
Finally, the doctor appeared. He did not have the friendly face we had seen previously. “I nicked the spleen and had to remove it, ” he said. Stunned I asked what the spleen does. He replied, “It is a useless organ left over from antiquity.” Having no medical background only my common sense told me that what the doctor had just said was untrue.
It took more than a year but a medical malpractice lawsuit was settled quietly using money drawn on a private bank. Famous doctors and famous hospitals make it very difficult to get lawyers to do their best in such cases. This is most true when you have to make a contingency agreement to pay the legal fees.