There are a few things you never, ever, want to hear a doctor say. Like "uh-oh." Or "oops." Lucky for Glenn Hermes, he was far away from the operating table when his doctors had their "oops" moment.
In December 2012, Hermes first visited the doctor for an odd growth on his testicles. After consultations with Dr. Robert Stroud of Lonestar Urology, Hermes was informed that he had a suspicious, and likely cancerous, growth on his left kidney.
At Stroud's recommendation, the kidney was removed and sent to the labs, and Hermes went along on his way until he got a call telling him that the pathology report on the kidney declared it a perfectly healthy, cancer-free organ.
In fact, it was his right kidney, still in him, that was still riddled with cancer. His healthy left kidney, meanwhile, had already been left to sit in a jar of formaldehyde and tossed away as biohazardous waste. But not before being hacked to shreds by a desperate pathologist looking for a nonexistent tumor.
Last year, Hermes underwent another surgery that removed the cancerous portion of his right kidney. He has been cancer-free for over a year, but he still has only partial kidney function. He must wait another four years of being cancer-free before he is eligible for a kidney transplant to regain full function. Even then, there are no guarantees of a successful surgery.
Hermes, along with his wife, Bernadette, are now suing Dr. Robert Stroud, Dr. David Fenyes and their associated practices -- Lonestar Urology and Radiology Associates of North Texas, respectively -- who were responsible for Glenn Hermes' case, for over one million dollars. Plaza Medical Center, where the surgery was performed, is not included in the suit. The Hermeses have sought the help of North Texas attorney Darrell Keith, for the case.
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Keith and the Hermeses are clearly gearing up for a fight. Keith has made his name handling big-time medical malpractice lawsuits, and Hermes is himself already well-acquainted with the medical field as the CEO of the Fort-Worth-based Hyperbaric Oxygen Technologies, Inc.
"Mr. Hermes trusted, believed and relied upon Dr. Stroud and his statements and representations that he was suffering from a left kidney mass that was potentially cancerous," said Keith in the lawsuit petition. In the petition, Keith highlighted how much Hermes relied on his doctors to make the appropriate diagnosis. He elaborated on this sentiment to Unfair Park. "Medical mistakes hurt thousands of lives every year," Keith said. "A great wrong was done to him, and he's entitled to a just redress for the damages and harm done to him."
We attempted to reach the doctors for comment, but they were unavailable.
According to an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Hermes says it's not the handsome amount of money for himself that he's after. Since the botched surgery, he's had one too many sleepless nights, and wants a little peace of mind to be able to provide for his wife and family. "There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think about this," he said. "I'm getting to the point where I should be enjoying life and thinking about retirement and not thinking about a transplant. It's pretty emotional."