Katherine Anderson is suing Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Oregon, where she was an inmate in 2007, for medical malpractice after she alleges they ignored her symptoms of congestive heart failure and she almost died as a result.
Although she was seen several times in the prison infirmary, her lawsuit alleges that nurses and doctors there ignored her claims of severe pain and as a result, failed to treat the bacterial endocarditis, a relatively easy to treat condition.
It took the intervention of an outside party for Anderson to receive the treatment she desperately needed, and by that time the disease had progressed to the point that she was experiencing liver and kidney failure.
Three months after arriving at Coffee Creek, Anderson says she discovered a suspicious lump in her abdomen and began experiencing nausea and loose bowels followed by blurred vision, dizziness, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. Anderson claims that the nurses at the infirmary passed off her symptoms as a variety of conditions, including the flu, anxiety and even menopause.
What Anderson was really experiencing was congestive heart failure. She nearly lost her life before she was taken out of prison for heart surgery.
Anderson and her medical attorney contend that although she did deserve to be in prison and serve her time, she did not deserve to experience the medical negligence that she did. Instead, she emerged from her 26 month sentence with a shortened life expectancy and no chance of having any more children.
Anderson is seeking $2.5 million in damages for her ordeal.