Woman’s family to sue doctor and hospital after cancer misdiagnosis
Published Friday, November 29, 2013 5:48PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 29, 2013 5:51PM EST
The family of a Toronto woman who recently died from cancer after doctors at Trillium Hospitals failed to detect a tumour in her heart say they will proceed with a lawsuit against the hospital.
Houda Rafle, 28, lost her battle to cancer on Wednesday after a tumour that began in her heart spread to her brain and lungs.
Rafle visited Mississauga Hospital back in March complaining of shortness of breath. Family members say doctors drained nearly two litres of water from around Rafle’s heart and ran a series of CT scans.
Upon examination, radiologist Dr. Ivo Slezic told Rafle that her CT scans were clear and released her from the hospital.
Back in September, Rafle told CP24 that after her initial visit to the hospital she continued to feel ill and went back five months later, only to find out that she had developed Stage 4 cancer that had spread to her vital organs.
Upon hearing her diagnosis, Rafle vowed to fight back against the hospital. Two weeks before her death, Rafle and her family filed a statement of claim against Slezic and Trillium Health Partners for negligence.
Deeqa Rafle, Houda’s sister, said her family plans to pursue the lawsuit against the hospital and keep her sister’s fight alive.
“We’re just trying to carry out Houda’s wishes and trying to finish what she started,” Rafle told CTV News Channel on Friday.
“We just hope that these scans are read more thoroughly and certain scans shouldn’t slip through the cracks because it cost someone’s life as it did for Houda,” she added.
The lawsuit seeks $2-million in damages and claims that Rafle’s misdiagnosis prevented her from receiving potentially life-saving treatment.
Trillium Hospitals have recently come under fire as hospitals in Toronto and Mississauga have been forced to review nearly 3,500 CT scans and mammograms performed by Slezic over the last year after several patients came forward with claims of misdiagnosis.
Both Slezic and the hospital plan to fight the lawsuit.
Slezic, who trained in Croatia and has worked in Trillium Hospitals for thirty-three years, was suspended by the hospital in September and has stopped practising medicine while the College of Physicians examines the case.
Deeqa says her family has not been contacted by the hospital or anyone relating to the cases since her sister’s death.
She said Houda’s sole intention behind the lawsuit was to make sure no one suffered through the same ordeal she did.
“She said that she wasn’t doing this out of anger and she wasn’t trying to play the blame-game, she was doing this for change and quality assurance in the healthcare system because, had earlier detection happened, Houda might still be with us here today.”