Dallas woman suing over complications from surgery

A Dallas woman is suing her doctors and a Dallas hospital after complications from a surgical procedure.

She claims a medical device was not removed after her hysterectomy.

Michelle Priest, a performing singer, had surgery in 2010. She's claiming her surgeon left something inside her body that he shouldn't have, and that has damaged her long-term health.

"The urologist was sitting on his desk and asked my husband and myself to come behind and take a look so he could show it to us, and there was a clip there on the screen," said Priest.

The scan Priest is describing was a look at her kidney -- a full troubling year after undergoing an elective hysterectomy, when she discovered that a surgical clip had been left inside her body.

"I never felt normal, and that is what prompted the initial visit," said Priest.

Priest is now suing her surgeon, Dr. Winifred Parnell, for negligence, along with his partners, doctors Joseph Carlos and Monica Diaz.

Priest is also suing her family medicine physician, Dr. Hanh Dien Nguyen, whom she complained to about pain, fatigue and high blood pressure for months. 

The lawsuit includes a summary by a urology specialist regarding Priest's kidney, saying, "There is a surgical clip at the level of obstruction..."

Priest says there wasn't time to even be in shock.

"Because we had to do surgery, emergency surgery, to correct it," said Priest.

The lawsuit states, "It has been explained to her, that as a result of the clip's obstruction, and late diagnosis and treatment, she will never have normal kidney function again... she will require dialysis or a kidney transplant in approximately 10 years or possibly earlier."

Priest says her health and well-being are now uncertain, and things have been difficult since she lost her 16-year-old daughter to liver failure several years ago.

"I don't think there's any question that she has irreparable kidney damage as a result of this surgery and post-operative care," said attorney Justin Sumner.

"I just think it could've been avoided," said Priest. "This is something…that didn't have to happen."

The case is set to go to trial Feb. 17. Priest's attorney believes the case will last two to three weeks.

FOX 4 reached out to the parties named in the case.

The attorney for the OB/GYN surgeon, Winifred Parnell, and his partners, sent FOX 4 a statement Monday. They did not address the matter of whether the clip was left behind, said in part in a statement, "At trial we will present the medical evidence and facts challenging the claims made in the lawsuit."

FOX 4 did not get a reply from the family medicine physician, Dr. Nguyen.

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