Surgical Error: Missing towel = Lost kidney

An article popped up in my email a few days ago, and I thought I would share it. A young man in California had undergone surgery for a kidney problem. Afterwards he had a great deal of pain and was not healing properly. They finally discovered that a 1×2 foot surgical towel had been left inside him during the surgery! He lost his kidney because of the towel and has now sued the surgeon.

Here’s a link to the article:

Steve, the young man cited in the article, contacted me and asked how he can proactively help others. I believe that he recognizes that sometimes, the best you can do after a horrible medical experience, is to help others. It’s very cathartic.

I’ve suggested to Steve that he either participate in, or start up, a surgery mistake / surgical error support group online. I looked around for some for him to participate in, but couldn’t find any.

If you have suffered from mistakes made during surgery, or know of a surgery error support group and would like to touch base with Steve, please send me a quick email: I’ll forward your contact info to Steve.

Trisha Torrey
Scroll to Top