After being shot in the chest by a sniper’s bullet in 2004, one would think that the soldier had experienced the worst lung-related injury he would ever have to endure. Unfortunately for one Green Beret, that was not the case. He recovered from his war wound, and 13 years later began his real struggle to breathe. This Army sergeant, who nearly lost his life on the battle field fighting for the freedom of the citizens of Oregon and the rest of the country, is going to instead lose his life to cancer. Before it takes his last breath away, he is suing the government for the military physician’s failure to diagnose cancer until it was too late to save his life.
In Jan. 2017 the sergeant had a routine CT scan at an Army hospital and was told he was well. Soon, he started having breathing trouble and was even rushed to the emergency room at the Army medical center where he was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home. His condition worsened with coughing, wheezing, bleeding and feelings of drowning. After months of suffering and begging for answers he finally was able to see a civilian doctor. In June the soldier quickly received the news that would bring his world crashing down — terminal stage four lung cancer.
The startling diagnosis led to many questions, so the soldier reviewed his medical records, and that is when even more disturbing information was discovered. His initial scan clearly showed a mass in his lung, but no note of it had been made. When he had returned to that hospital in May, it was noted that a mass was present and should be biopsied — but he was never given this information. Instead, he was repeatedly told he had pneumonia while cancer ravaged his body.
The Purple Heart recipient is filing a medical malpractice claim against the government in federal court for the hospital’s repeated failure to diagnose cancer that was taking over his body. Doing so means seeking changes to the Feres Doctrine, a law which prevents military personnel from suing the government. Civilians in Oregon and other states who are victims of medical malpractice aren’t subject to the same restrictions, so with the help of an attorney experienced in medical malpractice law they can file a claim to seek compensation for damages they suffered.