Woman says thyroidectomy left her unable to speak

By Joel Brakken | Oct 22, 2013

Regan


WHEELING - A woman is suing her doctor and the hospital after she claims she was left unable to speak following a surgical procedure.

Stephanie Mills filed a lawsuit Oct. 2 in Ohio County Circuit Court against David Ghaphery M.D., A.D. Ghaphery Professional Association and Wheeling Hospital Inc., citing medical negligence, lack of fully informed consent and negligent credentialing.

Mills says that she consulted with Ghaphery for the treatment of Graves' Disease, which is an overactivity of the thyroid gland. She says that Ghaphery met with her for only a few short minutes and recommended surgical removal of the thyroid gland for treatment of her Graves' disease, but failed to inform her of any potential side affects from the surgery, including vocal cord paralysis and breathing and swallowing difficulties associated with such paralysis.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 13, 2011, she underwent a thyroidectomy perfomed by Dr. Ghaphery at Wheeling Hospital. She alleges that during the surgery, Dr. Ghaphery deviated from the standard of care and that following surgery she was unable to speak.

Mills further alleges that although she continued to be unable to speak and began experiencing throat pain, Dr. Ghaphery refused to refer her to a specialist for further treatment.

She says that she eventually met with a specialist without obtaining a referral and was advised the nerves associated with her vocal chords were damaged as a result of Dr. Ghaphery's surgical procedure and the injuries were likely permanent.

Mills is seeking damages, including punitive damages, in an amount within the court's jurisdiction. She is being represented in the case by attorney Christopher J. Regan of Bordas & Bordas PLLC.

Circuit Court of Ohio County Case No. 13-C-338

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