Garry W. Hempstead

Garry Hempstead

Our story is so similar to almost everyone that has posted. My husband, age 55 went to a GP for just an ordinary exam and get a prescription for Chantix to stop smoking. He had not been to the doctor nor had he needed to go since he was discharged from the U.S.Air Force in 1975. He was healthy, worked everyday as a Union Pacific Railroad Yardmaster, fished anytime he had off and was a great husband, father, and grandfather. During the normal exam the doctor discovered he was in AFIB and admitted him into the hospital for additional tests and to start the coumadin. After he was released he decided he wanted to go to Houston and seek a second opinion. He was treated by a well known cardiologist and had cardioversion twice and then he was referred to Dr. John Seger, (Houston, Texas) who was a Electrophysiologist. At our first visit in March 2010 he put Garry on 200 mg. Amiodarone and said he only wanted him on it for 1 month. Every month Garry asked if he could get off the Amiodarone and every month he said no, stay on it a little longer. On June 29th he had cardiac ablation done by Dr. John Seger and soon after he started having problems breathing. On July 4th, 2010 he was admitted into the ICU unit in our home town and after 53 days on the vent he passed away. The lung biopsy was done on 7/19/10 and sent to Mayo and the University of Alabama Medical Center and both confirmed Amiodarone Lung Toxicity. During this time we had many ups and downs, he was accepted by the Methodist Hospital in Houston as a candidate for lung transplant, the day he was supposed to be flown over to Houston, a tropical storm came in and Methodist decided they needed to reevaluate his condition and the next day changed their mind, his condition was worse. Garry passed away on 8/25/10. In my opinion there were many errors made. First, there was no prior tests done before starting the Amiodarone. Second, there was no follow up tests done during the four months he took Amiodarone. Third, the night before the Ablation was done we had finished all the necessary tests at St. Lukes and we were called back to the hospital, Dr. John Seger had forgotten to order a CT of his chest and lungs. We did not get back to the hotel until after 8:30 p.m. The ablation was scheduled for 7:00 a..m. and we had to be there at 6:00 a.m.. It is my belief that the CT scan was never looked at or read because it showed there was enlarged lymph nodes in the lungs as well as pulmonary cysts. We were given this report as we were discharged from the hospital and told that our Primary Care Physician needed to follow up on this…


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