The family of a South Florida woman is suing a medical lab, saying a mistake caused her death. As 7’s Lynn Martinez reports, they filed the lawsuit to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
WSVN — Darian Wisekal was one of those women who had it all: beauty, two adorable daughters, and a loving husband.
John Wisekal: “We were together, you know, immediately.”
For John, it was love at first sight.
John Wisekal: “She was my whole life, without a doubt, and our children were our blessing.”
Life was good for the whole family until 2007, when Darian got sick.
John Wisekal: “She kept going to the doctor because she wasn’t feeling good, had done every recommendation the doctor told her. Pap smear, the first pap smear was 2008.”
Pap smears are tests that check for cervical cancer. Darian’s doctor sent her sample to LabCorp of America, a medical testing company with 1700 centers in the U.S., including many here in South Florida.
The 2008 lab result was negative for cancer. Darian still didn’t feel well.
John Wisekal: “She was always in pain, always felt like she had an infection.”
In 2009, she went in for another test.
John Wisekal: “The doctor said, because of the conditions that she had at that time, the illnesses and the infection that she had, they recommended, ‘Let’s wait, because it’s gonna probably affect the results.'”
So Darian waited. In 2010, she had her second pap smear.
John Wisekal: “The pap smear even at the time was negative, clear.”
Less than a week later, Darian went to the hospital. John says the doctor there could actually see what was wrong.
John Wisekal: “He said that, ‘You have a very large and angry mass that is probably cancerous.”
The doctor said her cervical tumor was the size of an orange. A biopsy confirmed cancer.
John Wisekal: “I just couldn’t believe it.”
The family was in shock after not one, but two negative results.
John Wisekal: “When we found out about the pap smears, both of them being misread, my only issue was, how did this happen?”
Darian had surgery and chemotherapy, but it was too late. Her family recorded her last days in the hospital.
In November 2011, Darian passed away. She was 37 years old.
Sean C. Domnick: “This tragedy, this loss to this family, never should have happened.”
Attorney Sean Domnick has filed a lawsuit for the family. The suit claims LabCorp was negligent in reading the 2008 slide as negative, saying: “As a result of the misread, Darian Wisekal’s cancer spread.”
Sean C. Domnick: “What they should have done was identified the high-grade lesions that were on the slide.”
LabCorp has not responded to our requests for an interview, but in court documents they argue the company was not negligent, saying Darian’s injures were “the result of an extremely rare, pre-existing, progressive medical condition not subject to detection by a pap smear.”
LabCorp also claims Darian was at fault because she “failed to obtain a pap smear in 2009,” and the 2010 pap smear had no bearing on the diagnosis or treatment of her cervical cancer.
The trial is set for later this year.
John Wisekal: “People have to be aware that this can happen to them. They cannot trust wholeheartedly everything that’s handed to them on the medical level. They have to ask questions.”
In the meantime, John continues to try to be both father and mother to his daughters.
John Wisekal: “It’s hard because I have two girls, and I can never raise them as their mother would.”
Lynn Martinez, 7News.