A 73-year-old grandmother who had both her kidneys needlessly removed due to a misdiagnosis of cancer has died eight months later.
Linda Woolley, of Englewood, Colorado, was on the transplant list when she suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on Friday, her family said.
She was diagnosed with 'likely' kidney cancer at the University of Colorado Hospital in March 2018, and underwent surgery to remove both organs in May.
But according to a 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 had to sit through four hours of dialysis three days a week, which she says turned her life upside down.
'I feel like they owe me a kidney, that's for sure,' Woolley said in an interview last year, having hired an attorney to sue 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.
Woolley said she 'was not real happy' after discovering what went wrong.
'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, Woolley was not immediately 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 then need to be on immunosuppressing drugs for life.
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.
Sharing her story in November, Woolley said she hoped 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.
Source: The Daily Mail