Re: I need a Medical Malpractice attorney
Posted by law forum on 8/05/10
On 8/04/10, Heather Costello wrote:
> Hi, my name is Heather Costello. I am currently
> searching for a malpractice attorney that will consider
> taking my case. I am 38 years old, have three children,
> and am currently in a relationship that has lasted 10
> years. I have a wonderful man, that has been through a lot
> with me since my first surgery that took place in May
> 2006. I feel I need an attorney because I believe that the
> Dr. that performed my last two surgeries has caused the
> permenant damage to the nerve root in my spine. I feel some
> one should pay for the life I now have to live because of
> surgery. I also can't have the career I was training for
> because of the damage caused by surgery. I only had to
> complete my externship and I was to become a Dental
> Assistant. Because of the fact that I couln't complete my
> externship in the time aloud, they dropped me frome the
> program. I don't fell I should have to pay back the loans
> for school, It isn't my fault I can't complete my
> externship, it is Dr. Bellabarba's fault and I believe he
> should have to repay my loans. My life has changed
> dramatically since the surgery. I can't do everyday things
> without help and going through a lot of pain. Dr.
> Bellabarba should be held responsible for his and the
> actions of his medical team, and have to pay for the
> mistakes made during surgery. He gets to go on and live his
> life without a second thought of what he caused my life to
> become and I don't think this is right.
> If anyone out there might be able to take on my case,
> please read the following detailed report of what has
> occurred and contact me immediately. I can be E-mailed at
> @hotmail.com, I will then call you. Please leave a way for
> me to contact you and thank you for your time. I am
> begging for someone out there to read and contact me. I
> need an attorney!!!! Please help!!!
> Heather Costello
> Prior to my first surgery I was in pain everyday.
> My doctor and I spoke about the possibility of surgery and
> I decided against it at first.
> Over the next year, the pain increased to the point I was
> bed ridden, I couldn't walk more than 10 feet w/o sitting
> or lying down to rest.
> At that point, the doctor decided to do more testing, Dr.
> decided that surgery was the only option, so I agreed.
> Dr. Mirza with HMC preformed my first surgery in May 2006.
> The Dr. took me to surgery for an L4-L5 fusion and
> exploration surgery. (They placed titanium screws and used
> cadaver shin boneas the spacer)
> Everything went great, and I was up the next day walking,
> my recovery was very fast.
> All went well for the next couple of years. No pain,
> walking great, spent time doing a lot more with my kids.
> I started having spasms in my hip and back so, I went to
> see my Primary Care Physician. (Dr. Felts)
> Dr. Felts had x-rays taken and put me in physical therapy
> immediately. I went to Kitsasp Physical Therapy for an
> evaluation.In the meantime, I called several times to get
> the x-ray results.
> When physical therapy was'nt working, the Therapist wanted
> to see my x-ray results.
> She was able to get them faxed over to her instantly.
> She (P.T.) then asked me if I knew I had a broken screw in
> my back. I informed her that I did not but I had been
> trying to get the x-ray results for about three weeks.
> I then contacted the spine center at Harborview around June
> Dr. Mirza was no longer there, so they set me an
> appointment with the surgeon that trained Dr. Mizra, Dr.
> Dr. Bellbarba had tests ran to see what was going on. (MRI,
> mylogram CT scan.)
> The results showed a broken srew and one was unscrewing and
> that the original fusion from 2006 never took.
> Dr. Bellabarba decided surgery was the only option, before
> more damage was caused.
> Dr. Bellabarba wanted to revise the origional fusion,
> replace the hardware, and try my own bone as graft, and go
> down one more vertabrea for more stability. (L4-L5-SI
> Surgery took place 9/9/09.
> After the surgery was over, the Dr. told my family
> everything went great, no problems.
> I immediately noticed issues with my foot and leg, I
> could'nt move my left side at all, I couldn't move or feel
> my big toe on the left side, and my pain was increasing
> Dr. ran more tests, Mylo-CT, MRI, and nerve conduction
> Dr. Bellabarba explaind he could'nt tell me why or how it
> happened but tests proved that the nerve damage was caused
> directly from surgery.
> One of his theories was the possibility that he nicked the
> nerve root causing permanent nerve damage.
> Dr. also discovered that the graft he placed had shifted
> dramatically in the last 3 months.He said that if the graft
> shifts any more it could cause significant damage, like
> So, we needed to go back to surgery for the third time.
> Dr. Bellabarba said there was nothing that could be done
> about nerve damage but they needed to replace the graft
> with a bigger one, use bigger hardware for more stability
> and shift the graft back into place.
> Dr. then sent me to get fitted for an orthodic (AFO) on
> Jan. 20th.
> (my foot has complete foot drop, need orthodic or I trip
> over my big toe and have fallen.
> The next surgery was scheduled for 1/6/10.
> Again, after surgery, the Dr. came and told my family
> everything went great. Except when they got in my spine,
> the scar tissue was so bad around the graft that they
> could'nt replace it w/o causing more damage. Dr. tried to
> srape and had to stop, to not cause damage.
> The next day we discovered the nerve damage cause by 9/9/09
> surgery had been worsened by this surgery. The scraping the
> Dr. tried to do during surgery caused even more damage and
> more pain.
> I have severe pain everyday, permanent foot drop, have to
> wear an orthotic, and have to go to pain clinic for long-
> term pain management.
> Dr. has opoligized multiple times to me, and called me
> personally to see how I was doing.
> During this conversation he said, “ Heather I now your not
> nieve, but I just hope you will give me a chance to help
> you live the best possibly life under the circumstances.
> Now, my Dr. sent me to the wrong person for my after care.
> Dr. Butler, P.A., (Dr. Bellabarba's partner at th time)sent
> me to Andrea Breuner to set me up with what he said was
> some kind of long-term pain management.
> After the second apppointment with her, she informed me
> that her job was to get me off all pain medications I was
> currently taking.
> I Spoke to Dr. Butler the next day and he then started the
> process of getting me in with the University of
> Washington's pain clinic.
> In the meantime, I had to endure more and more pain
> everyday, while they were cutting me off my pain
> medications very quickly.
> At my first appointment, we discussed different option on
> how to go about pain management. They prescribed me with
> gabapentin (Neurontin), I take 3600 mg a day. That is 1200
> mg. More than the FDA recommends. I was also prescribed
> methadone, I started on a low dose and now I am taking 50mg
> a day, which is 10mg more than reccomended.
> The medication has had quite an effect an my everyday life.
> I am still have breakthrough pain and I nod out all the
> time. I don't want to increase my meds, so they have now
> ask me about having another procedure done to place
> a in my spine to see if it might help.
> I am very hesitant about getting any other procedures
> having to do with my spine. I didn't think what happened
> would, so, the fear is always there.
> The worst part of all of this is that I had been working on
> becoming a dental assistant, all I had left was to do my
> externship. I was a honor roll student all the way through
> school, so I know I would have done great in the field.
> The doctor thought it would be best to wait till after the
> surgery to do my esternship. After the surgery, I had to
> get ready for another surgery right away, so no time to do
> externship. After the last one I found out I will never be
> able to work in the Dental field. I am on too many
> medications, too much pain, and I use an orthodic and need
> arm crutches to get around. The school informed me that
> they had to drop me because I wasn't going to be able to
> finish my externship.
> I am also not able to do everyday tasks anymore without
> assistance. (cooking, vaccuuming, dishes, and general
> picking up)
> My sex life has suffered greatly, sex causes me a lot of
> pain and stress.
> This has all caused a lot of stress and work for my S.O. of
> ten years. Our relationship is suffering and talk of
> splitting up has come up because of all the stress.
> I can't take walks anymore, just walking from the house to
> the car is a challenge.
> Riding in the car causes me pain which in turn causes
> stress. We used to go for long car rides and went camping
> All of the activities I enjoy, now just cause me pain and
> stress. Swimming, walking in the sand, sledding, and even
> watching my kids at sporting events cause me too much pain
> and in turn stresses me out, which usually causes issues in
> my relationship, which has never been an issue before the
> If I could say one thing to help you understand what this
> has done to my life, and my family ; I would have to say
> that I don't feel like I am living life anymore, I feel
> like I'm just sitting here watching it pass by me.
It probably is best to speak with an attorney on this.
Posts on this thread, including this one
- I need a Medical Malpractice attorney, 8/04/10, by Heather Costello.
- Re: I need a Medical Malpractice attorney, 8/05/10, by law forum.
- Re: I need a Medical Malpractice attorney, 8/05/10, by law.
- Re: I need a Medical Malpractice attorney, 2/14/11, by CarAccidentVictim.
- Re: I need a Medical Malpractice attorney, 4/29/11, by Nick.