Kenneth Myrie and the ‘missing file’
Pardoned prisoner sees ‘no-consent’ surgery claim head to mediation years after medical records found in garbage
IT WAS a matter that felt like life or death. Kenneth Myrie’s health was declining rapidly and he wanted a copy of his medical records dating back to 2004 to determine what type of medical procedure was carried out on him at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) – he claims without his consent.
But the hospital in 2015 was only able to provide him with a copy of the medical records from 2012.
In an affidavit, Myrie accused the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) of negligently carrying out a medical procedure without his permission or consent in 2004, causing him to suffer injury leading to vitamin B12 deficiency.
He told The Gleaner that the matter has been referred to mediation and the first meeting between his attorney and a representative from the attorney general’s chambers and the mediator was held on May 29. Another meeting is scheduled for August.
Myrie was pardoned by the Governor General in 2011 on medical grounds and was released from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre after serving 15 years for murder, a crime for which he claims he is innocent.
He has been pressing KPH officials from 2012 to produce his docket so that it can be determined what medical procedure was done on him.
Despite his unrelenting efforts at getting a copy of his medical report, the hospital maintained that it could not find the medical file.
However, in a strange twist in the case of the ‘missing file’, Myrie said he received a call in 2016 from an employee at the KPH who told him she had something to give him.
In a Gleaner interview, Myrie said he and his spouse went to the hospital and met with the worker who surprisingly turned over documents to him which included medical reports on his 2004 surgery and other treatment administered to him subsequently.
But what left Myrie in shock was when the worker told him that she found his medical records discarded in a garbage bin at the hospital.
Myrie said he handed the medical records to his attorney.
When contacted by The Gleaner last week, a senior official at the KPH, who did not wish to go on record regarding the medical file, said an investigation would be carried out into the matter.
Myrie showed The Gleaner a copy of his medical records where it was revealed that when he did surgery in 2004, doctors removed his ileum, which left him deficient of vitamin B12.
Encyclopedia Britannica says ileum is the final and longest segment of the small intestine. It is specifically responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12 and the reabsorption of conjugated bile salts. The ileum is about 3.5 metres or 11.5 feet long, or about three-fifths the length of the small intestine.
On the question of what led to the surgery that was performed on him in 2004, Myrie said that while he was incarcerated he felt severe pains in his stomach and was taken to the Spanish Town Hospital by correctional officers for medical examination.
Myrie said the doctors told him then that his small intestine was twisted and steps were made to perform surgery on him. However, he was reportedly transferred to the KPH where the surgery was done on him.