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Eye surgeons error confounds boys parents

first_imgFour-year-old Jesse Matlock entered a Portland hospital last Wednesday for surgery to correct his wandering right eye.But the surgeon mistakenly operated on the left eye. Then, once she realized her mistake, she performed the operation on the right eye. The ordeal left the Vancouver boy with two sore, bloodshot eyes and his parents searching for answers.“It just blows me away,” Jesse’s dad, Dale Matlock, said. “I can’t comprehend what happened in that operating room.”The procedure was supposed to be simple.The surgeon, Dr. Shawn Goodman, would cut some of the muscle tissue below Jesse’s right eye. The muscles above the boy’s right eye were stronger than the lower muscles, causing the eye to wander, said Tasha Gaul, Jesse’s mom.Jesse’s parents watched as Goodman made a mark above Jesse’s right eye. Then he was wheeled into the operating room at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for what was supposed to be a low-risk procedure, his parents said.But while Jesse was still in surgery, a nurse came to the waiting room and told Matlock the surgeon was going to operate on both eyes. She didn’t offer any further explanation, Matlock said.Goodman explained the mistake to Jesse’s parents after she was done operating.“She said, ‘Frankly, I was at the head of him, and I lost my sense of direction and the mark got covered up,’” Gaul said of Goodman. “By the time she realized it was the left eye, it was all said and done.”Jesse’s parents were stunned. “I just started crying,” Gaul said. “You hear something like this happens and your world starts spinning.”“This is a medical mishap that is never supposed to happen,” Matlock added. “Something had to happen with their procedure.”But Legacy officials said operating staff followed the hospital’s procedures.“All of the procedures were followed,” said Brian Terrett, director of public and community relations for Legacy. “What we’re trying to determine is where there was a breakdown.”last_img

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