Family sues Interior Health, hospitals and doctors for alleged medical negligence in letting ...

Source: , Posted On:   19 June 2022

The family of an Oliver man who had cancer spread throughout his body and take his life is suing the Interior Health Authority, six different doctors, Penticton Regional Hospital, and South Okanagan General Hospital, alleging medical malpractice.

Peter William Eyzenga died Aug. 31, 2020 at 62 years old, just two months after he was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.

His family filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court on June 2, 2022.

The claim states that Eyzenga's cancer was unchecked for nearly two years, despite numerous doctors and medical tests suggesting the presence of a potentially cancerous lesion in his colon.

It began when Eyzenga was experiencing extreme pain in his abdominal area on July 24, 2018 and attended to the emergency department of the South Okanagan General Hospital.

According to the suit, a doctor ordered medical imaging of Eyzenga’s abdomen for any possible blockages or constipation. It states that another doctor who reviewed the imaging report found that "indeterminate right lower quadrant calcification required clinical correlation and follow up."

Eyzenga was sent him home with orders to consume stool softener but no follow-up was done by either doctor that saw Eyzenga that day.

Four days later, on July 28, Eyzenga returned to the emergency department, but this time at the Penticton Regional Hospital. He was again experiencing extreme pain in his abdominal area.

The claim states that the doctor had scans done, which revealed the presence of kidney stones, and a polypoid type soft-tissue attenuation, approximately four centimetres by three centimetres, attached to the cecal wall in Eyzenga’s colon.

The Kidney stones were removed surgically.

According to the claim, Eyzenga was looked at by another doctor on Aug. 2, who allegedly told him that they couldn’t rule out the polyp being a small piece of food or stool. Eyzenga agreed to a repeat CT scan, which was supposed to be arranged in the following two weeks.

The claim stated that a follow-up on the lesion and another CT scan was not done.

“No follow-up was ever done by any of his doctors to determine the status of the cecal polyp between July 28, 2018, and Jan. 14, 2020… regardless of the fact that the doctors’ charts indicated that there needed to be follow-up done to determine what the cecal lesion was,” the lawsuit reads.

On Jan. 14, 2020, Eyzenga went for a routine visit with a doctor to get a blood prescription refill.

Eyzenga’s health took a drastic turn on March 30, 2020, when he was on vacation. The claim states Eyzenga called into his doctor's office since he was experiencing fatigue, lightheadedness, dark urine and swollen ankle and knees.

The next day he had a phone appointment with his doctor, stating his blood pressure was very high, which is then when they told him they had changed his meds.

The claim states that Eyzenga asked to be put on his old medication, but the doctor refused.

“She also told him his urine was dark due to dehydration and she advised him to drink more fluids. Eyzenga followed…orders and increased his amount of water daily,” the suit reads.

Eyzenga had another telephone consultation with his doctor on May 19, 2020, and “explained to her his grave concern over his urine still being dark. [The doctor] told him that she did not see any reason to schedule any blood tests and suggested for him to drink more water.

The claim stated that Eyzenga saw his urine getting darker, he became more fatigued and he was developing pain in his right-hand side as each day passed.

On June 12, 2020, Eyzenga received a call from his doctor, who had the results of a new CT scan that showed there was cancer in his liver, colon and lungs.

He was “riddled with cancer.”

The doctor told him that he had three to six months to live.

According to the suit, the doctor also told Eyzenga that due to the kidney stones and surgery, which took place for the kidney stones, the blemish/dark spot that was observed on the 2018 CT scan fell by the wayside.

When Eyzenga had his first appointment with an oncologist from the BC Cancer Clinic on July 23, 2020, she asked the family who was with him if anyone had ever spoken to them about the spot found on the CT scan from 2018.

“It was evident to her that cancer was visible in that CT scan and should not have been missed.”

Eyzenga died just over two months later.