West Virginia Record

Friday, October 18, 2019

Woman says invasive surgery had no chance for success

By Kyla Asbury | Oct 17, 2013

CHARLESTON - A woman is blaming a physician she claims was negligent in allowing her to undergo invasive surgery when she was not a proper candidate for the surgery.

On May 11, 2011, Dr. Cheryl Cox performed a colonoscopy on Michelle Wright and encountered anatomy in the colon which precluded Cox from completing the colonoscopy because she could not pass an adult scope, a pediatric scope or gastroscope beyond approximately 30 centimeters, according to a complaint filed Sept. 13 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Wright claims Cox concluded that she had a very fixed and tortuous colon and Wright was instructed to follow up on an as-needed basis.

On May 1, 2012, Wright returned, complaining of abdominal pain, diarrhea, ileitis and nausea and Cox ordered laboratory testing and a small bowel follow-through test, according to the suit.

Wright claims Cox did not order or recommend a barium enema test for her, and the results of the SMFT test and laboratory testing were essentially normal.

Despite her knowledge of Wright's fixed and tortuous colon, Cox ordered a capsule endoscopy, which is an invasive medical test, according to the suit.

Wright claims Cox was aware that she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer in the 1990s and had undergone radiation therapy to treat her cancer.

Cox knew or should have known that it was not safe for Wright to undergo the capsule endoscopy invasive medical test and knew or should have known of the higher risk of bowel obstruction in Wright outweighed the benefits of performing the capsule endoscopy test, according to the suit.

Wright claims following the ingestion of the endoscopy capsule, the large video capsule failed to pass and got stuck in her bowel, causing her to suffer a bowel obstruction.

Because of this, Wright became very sick and required hospital admissions and multiple surgeries to remove the video capsule and resect damaged large and small bowel, according to the suit.

Wright claims she continues to suffer from significant pain and bowel symptoms and currently has an ileostomy as a result of the events and she has been advised she will be required to undergo additional surgery in the future.

Cox's negligence, carelessness, recklessness, incompetence, willful lack of care and deviation from the applicable standard of medical care caused Wright to suffer permanent bodily harm, according to the suit.

Wright is seeking compensatory damages. She is being represented by Tony L. O'Dell of Tiano O'Dell PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-1751

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