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    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
    > heather_costello03
    >, 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!!!
    > Sincerely,
    > 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
    > 2009.
    > Dr. Mirza was no longer there, so they set me an
    > appointment with the surgeon that trained Dr. Mizra, Dr.
    > Bellabarba.
    > 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
    > fusion)
    > 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
    > daily.
    > Dr. ran more tests, Mylo-CT, MRI, and nerve conduction
    > studies.
    > 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
    > paralization.
    > 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
    > often.
    > 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
    > surgery.
    > 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.

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