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"Being Told To Get Over It While the Murderers Go Free"

                                                             By: Mel Spiegel


   My daughter and I were witnesses to a precious life being senselessly taken due to a surgical cover-up.  We watched and listened to several doctors scramble to protect the sacred reputation of a multi-tainted surgeon.  Each doctor had a different version of what happened.  They couldn’t care less about the truth, knowing they were protected by self-serving medical laws conjured up by those of their own ilk.  One of the most outrageous of these unjustified laws is that hospitals are under no obligation to inform the patients or their family of any malpractice committed by their doctors.  This makes the hospital just as guilty of covering up medical errors and therefore should also be dealt with harshly.

   Dr. Bassam Sayegh botched a simple laparoscopy on my wife that very soon took her life.  I am in the process of using legal means to get my wife her deserved justice.  A tricky search on the Internet will show just how dangerous this man has been.  I do not know many people who are aware of this, but like me, most people have (or I should say in my case ‘had’) a basic naive trust of the medical profession. 

   Bassam Sayegh has a history of numerous complaints and several malpractice suits that were settled out of court.  Several of the patients we know of died.  Some very similar to what happened to my wife.  How many more people have to die before they make it mandatory for the peoples’ “Right to Know”?  This act should also make it mandatory for the hospitals to release a complete dossier on all doctors, even if they are not asked for.  The patient has to sign releases before receiving services such as blood transfusions.  It should be the same rules, if not even stricter, for the medical profession.  Does anyone think I would have let this surgical menace lay a finger on my wife had I been informed of his past malpractices?  Yet ironically, ‘I’ could be in trouble for mentioning his name, while he continues to conceivably destroy more lives.  This alone should be a wake up call to investigate these legal monstrosities.  More important, my wife would be alive today.  Who knows how many others?

   After the botched surgery, my wife was left in the recovery room bleeding internally for well over an hour, severely damaging her organs, a condition from which she never fully recovered and ultimately contributed to her premature death.   This is where the cover-up began and it was a cover-up of major proportions.

   My wife was originally admitted into Jupiter Medical Center with pains in her side.  We immediately thought it was gallstones as there is a history of this condition in her family.  Both her sisters had their gallbladders removed.  What was supposed to be a simple procedure that would allow her to go home the same day turned into my wife’s worst and final nightmare.  She wound up on life support with twelve staples in her abdomen and a very excruciating eight day stay at Jupiter Medical Center.  Incidentally, Medicare was billed over $116,000.00 for a mistake their supposed “top surgeon” made.  Just another offensive thing that should be looked into.

   We were originally told, the sample tissue Bassam Sayegh took, was to be diagnosed in no more then three days.  One day after the surgery, an oncologist (Dr. Edit Tolnai, associated with Bassam Sayegh) visited the room where my wife was recuperating.  She immediately blurted out with no warning that Fran had stage four gallbladder cancer and only six months to live.  All of us were stunned - my daughter, myself and a nurse who was present.  When Tolnai left, the nurse on duty told us she could not believe how this doctor had conducted herself with such an unsubstantiated and questionable diagnosis.  That was red flag number one. 

   Some time after, when I asked about the lab results I was told the pathologists “do not work on weekends.”  After three to four days there were still no results.  Around day five I again asked about the results of the laparoscopy.  I was told by Tolnai that “dye had accidentally been spilled on the slides” and they could not be read for at least a week while they were being cleared up.  I asked, how then could anyone have come to the stage four conclusion and was told it was based solely on Sayegh’s observations.  After a week, I again asked about the slides and was told they were being sent to Massachusetts for a second opinion.  There was no further mention of dye being spilled.  It was as if the dye incident had never happened, but it did conveniently buy them time to put a story together.  Lo and behold I was to find out, much later, “additional slides” were sent to Massachusetts.  I learned that Jupiter Medical’s pathology report didn’t agree with Tolnai’s assessment.  Rather then give the additional slides back to Jupiter Medical’s pathology department, they sent them elsewhere.  I do not believe any of the slides were my wife’s and they couldn’t take the chance of resubmitting them to the same Jupiter pathologists.  Again, the dye incident was never mentioned in the final Massachusetts report, or in fact - by anybody.  It definitely did buy Sayegh and Tolnai more time to get their suspect story together.  Plus, how could they be getting a second opinion (as we were told) when the new slides were being seen for the first time? 

   I also believe Sayegh did not expect my wife to survive his botched surgery as he has a ‘history’ and is certainly used to losing patients.  So to avoid another malpractice suit, which at the time was the furthest thing from my mind, he was going to blame her present condition on cancer which in no way had been substantiated.  He had to prove otherwise.  The gallstones were never mentioned again by the doctors.  I do not have the slightest faith in the final results that were given to me a few weeks later.  I do believe, beyond a doubt, the slides were manipulated.  To me, this is the only logical explanation for all the convenient excuses about the original slides, the disappearing dye and subsequently finding out about the lives lost at the hands of the dysfunctional Bassam Sayegh.

   More to the point, after a multitude of tests - blood, bile, urine, CT scans, etc., that were given to my wife in the short time she had left - not one trace of cancer was found.  This select group of doctors and Jupiter Medical Center would do anything to keep the money rolling in and their reputations intact, even if it meant their patient’s life.  This also includes the doctors and personnel who just shut their eyes and minds knowing they are working with and protecting such a menace to human lives, in order to protect their jobs.
   Here are just a few examples of their absolute arrogance and indifference to what really happened to my wife.  One doctor said a sample was taken of just her liver.  Another said the sample was only of her gallbladder.  Still another said samples were taken of both the liver and gallbladder.  The most ridiculous findings were by her primary caregiver, Dr. Gabriella Bonomo, who wrote in a comprehensive report that the follow-up surgery was “scheduled” and done the next day.  This was completely false and tragically misleading.  It severely hurt the immediate and future care my wife would get.  How could my wife get the treatment that could have saved her life, while enduring this comedy of errors, lies and cover-up? 

   This is why I do not believe for one instant the final conclusions they so conveniently conjured up.  Make no mistake, these doctors all feel they are protected by self-serving medical laws that most likely are unconstitutional.  My wife walked into Jupiter Medical Center thinking she had gallstones.  Just one week earlier she had a physical and was given a clean bill of health.  She was swimming in the ocean, going to the movies, laughing and completely full of vibrant life.  Two and one half months after Sayegh got his soiled hands on her, she was gone.

    As difficult as this is, in my follow-up, I will explain how I brought her to MD Anderson, one of the most reputable hospitals in the world.  This is when the “cancer” scare became questionable.  MD Anderson began treating my wife for the original organ damage and she began to improve.  Then the worst possible scenario took place.  She returned home to be treated by another oncologist, Dr. Henry Shapiro, "should" the cancer scare be proven real. Shapiro was referred by MD Anderson, based on a search of oncologists in Fran’s area.  It turns out, unknown to them, besides not being board certified, Henry Shapiro works frequently out of Jupiter Medical Center and was associated with all the colluding doctors.  It was the beginning of the end for my innocent, trusting wife. 
   Henry Shapiro will be written about extensively in the near future.  My follow-up will be an agonizing true story of runaway egotism, more cover-up, pure uncaring arrogance, incompetence and willful neglect.   In simple words, total disregard for the life of the person entrusted to him.
   I hope these articles will help our movement and people everywhere will stand with me and my daughter in bringing an end to this senseless premature loss of innocent life.
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©2015 by The Fran Spiegel "Right To Know" Act

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