(East Hampton, Ct)
July 26, 2009 My name is Benay. I lost my husband and best friend of 20 years in a different way than most. My husband Stephen needed to have surgery for Barrett's esophagus. He had been treated for three years and we thought he was fine.
In April of 2008 my husband Stephen had a routine endoscopy. The doctors found a spot on his esophagus. Although it turned out to be non-cancerous the doctors were afraid he would develop esophageal cancer down the road. They recommended he have an esophagectomy to remove his esophagus. Two doctors who had performed this surgery many times before did the surgery on July 3, 2008.
The surgery initially went well but a few days later he began to have problems and became very sick. It turns out they "nicked" the vagus nerve in his heart. He developed pneumonia and was returned to the ICU. Seventeen days after the surgery he needed to have a pacemaker inserted because they could not regulate his vital signs. After they finished inserting it he suffered a cardiac arrest.
He suffered an anoxic brain injury and was in a coma for ten days. When he emerged from the coma, he was brain injured. To make a long story short, he spent seven months in the hospital. He returned home in January. I have had to hire 24 care because he cannot take care of himself.
He is now permanently disabled. He will never work again or drive a car again. He will never be the husband or father he was. He was my absolute best friend in the whole world and now he is gone. I feel this profound sense of loss and despair. I feel as if the world is empty and even though I have a fourteen year-old son and some support from family, I feel all alone.