Son Of Veteran Who May Be Victim Of VA Pathologist Misdiagnosis Shares Late Fathers Story

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Crawford County man is speaking out after recently receiving a startling letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs about his father who died from cancer nearly four years ago.

Jeremy Goins said he got the letter on Thursday (June 21st) in regards to his late father Stephen.

It explains that a former physician in their Pathology and Laboratory Department was identified as misdiagnosing pathology cases. It goes on to say that their family member had one or more tests reviewed by that physician.

What really bothered Goins was the final sentence in the letter that reads, in part, “…apologize for any inconvenience or concern this situation may cause.”

“That's a slap in the face, because it's not an inconvenience, it's someone's life," Goins said.

According to the VA, Goins’ dad is one of nearly 20,000 cases the pathologist reportedly oversaw. This pathologist is being investigated after they were found to be ”impaired” while on the job. Based on internal reviews, seven cases of misdiagnosis has been discovered, one of which resulted in death.

The nature of the pathologist’s “impairment” is not being disclosed because it’s currently under investigation.

Goins’ father Stephen died in September of 2014 of esophageal cancer, he was 53.

He said his dad went to the doctor in 2010 for a lump in his throat, but his dad didn’t get the proper treatment then.

“He finally came in and said, ‘You know what, this isn't working. I’m not going to leave until I find an answer,’” Goins said.

Goins’ dad was finally able to get a biopsy and other tests done. A pathology report showed Goins had Stage 2 cancer.

However, a few weeks later he got a call about that same report that said it was Stage 4 cancer. By that time, the virus had already spread to his spine.

“Too young. He had a lot of life left to live. And had he’d gotten the proper treatment and proper diagnosis, it’s very likely he would still be here today,” Goins explained.

As for what action Goins’ is taking now one of his attorneys, Chip Sexton, tells 5NEWS they are exploring the options out there and are reviewing the records to decide what course of action to take.

Currently, we are still waiting on the name of the accused impaired pathologist. That name is being withheld at this time.

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