In an apparent bid to keep costs down, Kaiser Permanente delayed for a quarter of a year before finally running an MRI scan on a 23 year-old woman; they advised her instead to lose weight and referred her to a nutritionist.
Because she was normal weight, 5 feet 4 and 125 pounds, Rahm was surprised at the diagnosis. She visited the nutritionist, tried acupuncture and yoga, but the pain only got worse.
Anna Rahm was 17 when she first sought medical help. When Kaiser finally ran the scan, they discovered that she did indeed need to lose weight: a large and aggressive sarcoma in her pelvis was moving fast.
In order to treat the cancer, Kaiser surgeons in July 2009 removed Rahm's right leg, half of her pelvis and part of her spine.
Unsurprisingly, she sued, and last Wednesday a Los Angeles jury awarded her $28.2 million. They must do things differently down there; my sarcoma was diagnosed pretty quickly here, and they didn't hesitate to run scans to confirm type and location. My surgeon noted that in the 1980s, the only treatment for such a tumor was amputation of the arm at the shoulder. In my case, they were able to save the arm.