Patient suing surgeon after routine surgery ends in amputated leg
Daniel J. Rowe, CTV Montreal
Published Thursday, August 8, 2019 1:03PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 9, 2019 7:44AM EDT
A Montreal woman is seeking $5 million in damages from a surgeon at the Verdun Hospital after a routine procedure ended in her leg being amputated.
Hazar Nejmeh, 41, went to the hospital for a routine operation after tearing her ACL in a skiing accident in 2016. The Syrian engineer initially began seeing a physiotherapist before doctors decided surgery was needed.
Dr. Serge Tohme performed the surgery.
Nejmeh's lawyer Arthur Wechsler said his client remained in terrible pain despite taking pain killers after the procedure, and the lawsuit claims Dr. Tohme went to check on his patient, but didn't perform any tests, and eventually diagnosed a problem requiring a second operation.
"We're suing the physician, Dr. Tohme, for failure to have provided the necessary follow-up care, as a prudent physician should have done, in our opinion, based on the complaints that were given to him multiple times by his own patient, and his failure to investigate," said Wechsler.
The suit alleges, bleeding continued profusely at which time Dr. Tohme consulted a vascular surgeon and found Dr. Tohme had allegedly severed an artery likely during the original surgery.
The life-threatening third surgery included serious complications, and Nejmeh was transferred to Hotel Dieu Hospital, placed in a medically-induced coma, and more surgeries and complications ensued including sepsis.
Doctors then made the decision to save her life and amputate the leg above the knee.
Weschler argues the entire ordeal could have been avoided saving his immigrant, mother-of-three client a great deal of pain and anguish.
"We understand from the vascular surgeon we've engaged that had a vascular surgeon been called at an opportune time, and the intervention to correct the problem been done earlier, not only would there have been no amputation, there would have been a normal recovery for this patient," he said.
Weschler said his client continues to struggle and suffers from phantom limb pain. She had to wear a colostomy bag for a year and is having difficulty with a new prosthesis. She now suffers from depression and can no longer walk and take care of her three young children the way she would like to.
Nejmeh had planned to continue her engineering career in Quebec, but Weschler said that is highly unlikely now.