Now, a former patient is suing HCA, claiming the poor trauma care she received means she’ll never walk normally again.
Julie Fetcko and her husband, John were flying to a family Christmas gathering on Christmas Eve 2012 when the plane ran out of fuel. During the emergency landing that the couple attempted to make, the plane was ripped apart. Fetcko felt her ankles break in the crash that claimed the life of her husband who shielded her from the impact with his own body.
Emergency crews arrived on the scene and Julie was transported by helicopter to Ocala Trauma Center. The hospital which is operated by Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) had been open just a little more than two weeks.
HCA runs six trauma centers in the country and are among the most expensive trauma centers in the state of Florida. Patients are charged up to $33,000 the instant that they arrive at the facility.
In spite of the high price tag, Fetcko alleges that the HCA facility had no idea what to do with her type of injuries. In spite of being medically stable and able to be transported to a level one medical facility where she could be properly treated for her level of injuries, HCA kept her and attempted to realign her ankles which were badly broken.
Doctors attached rods to her legs drilling into her shins, feet and ankles. Fetcko alleges in her lawsuit that the doctor who attached the rods requested that she be transferred to another medical facility where she could be properly treated but the request was denied.
Fetcko was sent home instead along with a bill for more than $186,093. It is an amount that equates to having been charged approximately $2,584 per minute.
Fetcko was finally seen by a podiatrist referred to her by HCA who couldn’t treat her.
Fetcko’s neighbor, a retired orthopedic surgeon, referred her to an ankle specialist at Tampa General Hospital when her pain became unbearable.
The lawsuit alleges a standard of care that was far below any that had been seen. Because of the delay in Fetcko’s treatment it became impossible to properly treat her for her injuries.
Fetcko claims that she is in constant pain from her ankles that are now fused and is currently awaiting further surgeries for her condition.
It is enough of a tragedy to lose a loved one in an accident as Julie Fetcko did on Christmas Eve. It seems unthinkable to imagine receiving medical care that is not up to a standard of acceptable medical care.
Having an attorney that is both competent and experienced in the area of malpractice law and one that will fight for the rights of the patient is important for success.
At Bottar and Leone PLLC, our attorneys who specialize in medical malpractice have years of experience and expertise representing patients and their loved ones. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, contact us today. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, continuing therapies, loss of income, as well as pain and suffering or wrongful death. Contact us today to schedule a free, in-depth consultation and evaluation of your case.