FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - He braced himself for terrible news when the doctor said, "I need to talk to you." But never did an Arlington man imagine what he was about to hear. Glenn Hermes then learned that doctors had removed his health kidney and left the cancerous one inside.
The two doctors named in a malpractice lawsuit have some 40 years medical experience, combined. The Texas Medical Board has never filed a complaint against either of them.
Hermes and his wife are left baffled as to how such a mistake could happen.
After he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January of last year, Glenn Hermes put his trust where many patients do -- in his doctor. "When you're told you have cancer - it's shocking right away. But I trusted Dr. Stroud to have the right treatment plan for me."
Hermes said he agreed to let his urologist, Doctor Robert Stroud remove his left kidney. The surgery seemed successful, but then…
"He came in and said he needed to talk to us. From that moment when he said those words until he said, 'I took the wrong kidney out' it was devastating. I can't even tell you."
Instead of removing the left kidney with cancer, Hermes says his doctor told him he took out the healthy one.
His wife, Bernadette, was in shock. "I said, 'how could this have happened?'" IN this modern age of medicine Bernadette didn't think that type of mistake was possible. "He just kept saying, 'I'm sorry. I know. I'm sorry,'" she remembered.
Darrell Keith is the attorney representing the Hermes family. "Modern medical practices and standards of care prevent these sort of things from happening -- but when they do, they're horrific medical mistakes."
The Arlington couple is now suing Dr. Stroud, who performed the surgery, and Dr. David Fenyes, the radiologist who they say misread the kidney x-ray.
Glenn Hermes said matter-of-factly. "I have three-quarters of a kidney left."
A different doctor ultimately removed the cancer, but now the 55-year-old must wait four more years to be eligible for a transplant.
Every day, Hermes says he fears the future. "I'm a business man. I've got grandkids. I'm at the prime of my life… just a lot of things going through my mind."
Glenn Hermes and his wife both say the lawsuit they filed isn't about money. They say it's to guarantee the family's future if Glenn's cancer should return before he can get a transplant.
CBS 11 News contacted both of the doctors named in the lawsuit but neither they nor their attorneys returned requests for comment.
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