In the small, farming community of Fremont, Nebraska, townspeople eagerly welcomed an acclaimed doctor as the first full-time oncologist at the new, local cancer treatment center. But the fanfare soon turned into a nightmare. During chemotherapy treatments, 857 patients who were already waging the fights of their lives against cancer were inexplicably exposed to the deadly, blood-borne hepatitis C virus. At least ninety-nine of them contracted the lethal illness. The horror was unprecedented as this was the largest healthcare-transmitted outbreak of hepatitis C in American history, and remains so to this date.
A Never Event - a term used to describe a preventable medical tragedy - is a searing account of the health challenges these patients encountered and their quest for justice, as well as the painstaking investigation to uncover the source of the outbreak. It s a story of recklessness, deception and betrayal by the person these patients should have been able to trust the most: their physician, a man who, when the outbreak was discovered, fled the US for his native country in the Middle East. Written by a survivor of the tragedy and an attorney who represented many of the victims, A Never Event is a wake-up call to medical and legal communities nationwide.