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Originally published April 27 2011

Botched surgery: Doctors operate on wrong eye of five-year-old boy

by Jonathan Benson, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Before admitting your child or other loved one into the hospital for their next surgery, you may want to double check that the surgeon and staff know the difference between left and right. A recent report from KATU in Portland, Ore., says that when five-year-old Jesse Matlock was admitted to the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center (LEMC) for an eye surgery, his surgeon, Dr. Shawn Goodman, accidentally operated on his left eye, which was perfectly fine, rather than his right eye, which was the wandering one for which the surgery was intended.

Reports say that, for whatever reason, Goodman failed to realize that she was operating on the wrong eye until after she had finished operating on it. So she proceeded to operate on the right eye after finishing the left one, and later confessed her mistake to young Jesse's parents.

"My husband and I were in awe.'" said Tasha Gaul, Jesse's mother, to KATU concerning the incident. "She (Goodman) said, 'frankly, I lost sense of direction and didn't realize I had operated on the wrong eye until I was done operating on the eye.'"

Not only did the surgery on the right eye not fix Jesse's wandering eye problem, but also his mother says that the error in surgery on the left eye has resulted in the boy now having two wandering eyes. Consequently, Jesse's parents have now hired a lawyer, and are considering whether or not to file a malpractice lawsuit in response.

"We have a critical incident team that will be responding to [the case], that will be interviewing all of our staff in the operating room as well as private practice physicians in the operating room that were involved," said Dr. Lori Morgan, Chief Administrative Officer for LEMC. "Our hope is to never have it happen again in any of our hospitals."

Other recently-reported incidents of major surgery errors include the case of Veronika Cruz from Brazil, who unknowingly lived for three years with a pair of surgical scissors in her stomach that were accidentally left there by her surgeons (

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