A tragic case filed by woman, who was the victim of a most serious mistake made by a hospital, is certainly noteworthy. Five years ago, 44-year-old Zoraida Zambrana was diagnosed with thymic cancer, a rare cancer of the thymus gland in the chest. Mrs. Zambrana underwent three months of painful chemotherapy, but the treatment didn’t work. Her doctors said they were puzzled and then they made a startling discovery – the woman didn’t have cancer. Further research revealed her biopsy slides had been mixed up at Richmond University Medical Center with those of another patient, who did have thymic cancer.
Last month, in the case filed by Mrs. Zambrana, a jury found Richmond University liable for the woman’s pain and suffering and mental anguish. She was awarded $2.5 million in damages. Mrs. Zambrana, who is now 46, suffers from permanent fatigue and shortness of breath and has lost her sense of taste due to the chemotherapy.
The thymus is a small gland in the upper part of the chest extending upward into the root of the neck, according to the website of the Foundation for Thymic Cancer Research. The gland helps produce white blood cells in childhood, which aids the body’s immune system. The thymus slowly decreases in size during adulthood and is gradually replaced by fat tissue, said the foundation. A mass had been found in Mrs. Zambrana’s chest and she went to Richmond University on Oct. 26, 2010, to undergo a biopsy to determine whether the mass was cancerous.
Mrs. Zambrana was told her biopsy came back positive and she that had thymic cancer. Thymic cancer often proves deadly if not diagnosed and treated early. After breaking the news to her children and husband Emmanuel, a Coast Guard chief warrant officer, Mrs. Zambrana elected to undergo chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. She received chemo for three months, during which time her hair fell out and she suffered with fatigue, loss of breath and other symptoms. However, the treatment appeared to have no effect on the mass, which was quite puzzling to her doctors. They decided to remove the mass and to their surprise tests showed it was benign.
An “extensive investigation” followed. Mrs. Zambrana’s DNA was checked against the DNA in the cancerous sample and it didn’t match. The doctors realized the cancerous sample belonged to another person, and that Mrs. Zambrana’s slide had apparently been mixed up with the other person’s at Richmond University. That turned out to be exactly what happened.
Source: Staten Island Advance
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.