A 73-year-old grandmother has said she ‘was not real happy’ after discovering that she’d needlessly had both her kidneys removed – meaning she now faces dialysis for the rest of her life.
Linda Woolley, of Englewood, Colorado, was diagnosed with ‘likely’ kidney cancer at the University of Colorado Hospital in March, and underwent surgery to remove both organs in May.
But according to a new report by FOX31, her biopsy was benign and showed ‘no evidence of malignancy’.
Doctors realized their error in a post-operative biopsy that found no evidence of cancer in either organ.
But kidneys can’t just be put back in. Linda now has to sit through four hours of dialysis three days a week, and she says it has turned her life upside down.
Linda Woolley, 73, was diagnosed with ‘likely’ kidney cancer at the University of Colorado Hospital in March. She had both organs removed before doctors realized she was cancer-free
Woolley says dialysis ‘is no picnic’ and she hopes she can one day get a transplant
‘I feel like they owe me a kidney, that’s for sure,’ Woolley said, having hired an attorney as she considers filing a lawsuit against the hospital.
Kidneys are essential for removing waste and excess water from blood to produce urine.
We can survive with just one, but that’s as far as the body can go. With no kidneys, dialysis is required: patients are hooked up to an IV which essentially cleans and filters their blood.
You can survive on it for about a decade, but it is an arduous process – as Linda attests.
‘My life was totally changed. Dialysis is no picnic no matter how used to it you get, it robs you of your life,’ she said.
According to FOX31, Linda is currently not well enough to be put on the transplant waiting list. Transplant hopefuls need to be capable of withstanding the complex and life-threatening surgery, and will then need to be on immunosuppressing drugs for life.
Linda has yet to receive an apology from the University of Colorado Hospital
For those that make it onto the list, the wait averages between seven and 10 years.
Unfortunately, elderly people rarely make it to the top of the list.
Linda says she hopes she can get a kidney – and she hopes her story can be a warning to others to double-check their diagnoses.
‘It is terrifying because you have no choice when you go into a hospital. You trust that you’re going to be taken care of,’ she said.