In Orlando, Florida, a woman that became infected with HIV after receiving a kidney transplant is planning to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against Lee Memorial Health Systems. According to the plaintiff, 55-year-old Karen Cruz, the health care facility was negligent and deviated from the standard of care.
Cruz said, "Everybody in dialysis waits and dreams when you get the call that says we got a kidney for you. But the greatest gift is to get a live kidney from a donor." On August 29th, Cruz went to Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center to undergo transplant surgery. For her, the transplant had been long awaited. Never in her wildest dreams did she expect what would happen following the organ transplant.
According to Cruz's personal injury lawyer, the donor's blood was tested for HIV and other diseases on August 14, 2007. On August 24th, the tests came back positive for HIV, yet doctors allowed the transplant to take place.
In 2009, Cruz's lawyer contacted her and told her about the results of the blood test. Based on the test, it was assumed that Cruz might have become infected with HIV. It was later revealed that Cruz was, in fact, HIV positive.
Cruz told news sources, "I have not been able to enjoy not one minute of life since I got off that operating table. I have been so sick, it's unreal... It makes it very difficult to trust any doctor for me. I would have to be on my deathbed to say yes to any surgery today." In order to stay alive, she says she must take at least 20 pills a day.
At this time, she is seeking monetary compensation from the medical facility to cover her current and future healthcare costs. Her medical bills exceed $100,000, but in the state of Florida, medical malpractice claims are capped at $100,000.
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