April 1, 2009 - Kin Sue in Organ Horror
The parents of a Long Island teen whose cancer-ridden organs were mistakenly authorized for transplants have sued three hospitals and a slew of doctors for missing the signs of the disease.
In court papers, Jim and Lisa Koehne slam Southampton Hospital and Stony Brook Medical Center for mistakenly diagnosing their son Alex in 2007 with meningitis -- an oversight that allegedly killed two organ recipients and sickened two others.
All four organ recipients -- or their next of kin -- have already filed suits against the two hospitals, and NYU Medical Center, which performed two of the transplants.
All four transplants were done in 2007, when Alex Koehne, 15, died.
* Kitman Lee, 52, of Brooklyn, died in July 2007 after receiving a diseased liver at NYU.
* Jodie Lynn Shierts, 36, of Pequot Lakes, Minn., died in September 2007 after receiving a bad pancreas.
* Gerardo Trueba, 48, of The Bronx, has undergone chemotherapy since receiving a cancerous kidney at NYU.
* James Kelly, 66, of Mt. Sinai, LI, has also had to undergo chemotherapy after receiving the other kidney at Stony Brook.
According to the suits, doctors concluded that Alex Koehne died of meningitis, then signed off on the transplants. But an autopsy weeks later revealed that it was T-cell Lymphoma -- which would bar any reuse of the organs.