Montana Man Gets $59,000 for Brain Cancer Misdiagnosis


Templin was sent to an ophthalmologist, who suspected a stroke, and ordered a non-contrast CT scan, according to court papers. That doctor suggested several diagnoses, including stroke and a brain tumor.

A neuroradiologist recommended further diagnostic testing and discussed that with Morrow, according to court papers. But later that day, Morrow made a strong recommendation to the VA's tumor board that it was brain cancer.

An MRI that would have revealed Templin had suffered a stroke was never given. Morrow disputed that, according to court papers, saying he had advised an MRI.

Templin was sent home with prescriptions for drugs and in-home hospice, which is offered to patients with less than six months to live.

The judge wrote in the judgment that one of Templin's daughters, asking how he would die, was told, "one of the tumors would grow 'like cauliflower' and Templin would die from a brain bleed."

Templin said of his near suicide attempt, "I kept staring at the gun. I didn't want my family to go through this."

He refused cancer treatments. One of the drugs he was prescribed was not to be medically given to stroke patients.

Judge Molloy wrote that Templin became "very depressed and preoccupied with his diagnosis."

"I couldn't drive or take care of lawns for people and I cried a lot," said Templin. "So I just sat there as hospice kept coming to the house."

Oddly, Templin began to get better and by June, he ended his hospice care.

"Finally one day I said to them, 'Hey, you are real nice, but you've got to get the hell out of here," he said. "Take your stuff, I don't want you around here. That's the way it started."

Then one day after firing hospice, he got a telephone call from a woman at the hospital, urging Templin to come back in for testing. "Oh what the heck," he said to himself. "I'll do it."

This time, he was assigned a new doctor who promised to "get to the bottom of this," said Templin. "Thank God for him."

The doctor discovered Templin had suffered a series of small strokes, which had caused his initial symptoms, but he did not have brain cancer.

"It was like a shock when he came in," said Templin. "My exact words were, 'Doctor, don't feed me with this bulls***. I'm not in the mood for it.' He said, 'No, Mark, you don't have cancer.'"

Templin said that at first he didn't want any financial reward for his suffering, but soon changed his mind. "For someone to go through this, you can't put a price on it."

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