PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (WFLA) — Christopher Cuomo’s family expected him to return home the same day he was dropped off for hernia surgery last February.
His mother, Anne Cuomo Neri, said she was shocked to receive a phone call from the clinic about complications, including one conversation about nine hours after the surgery began.
“They said he was in a medically induced coma,” Cuomo Neri said. “I started crying and what did I say? He trusted me more than anyone in the world and I promised him that everything would be fine.”
Cuomo died 23 days later at the age of 46, according to his mother. According to his mother, Cuomo was active and healthy when he underwent what appeared to be routine surgery.
“I wake up every morning and it’s like hearing the news for the first time that my son has died,” she said, holding back tears. “I still can’t accept that my son is gone.”
Cuomo-Neri said the last few weeks of his eldest son’s life included several other surgeries. The last procedure was the day before he was last seen alive.
“When they finally got him back, we went up to the room and he was on life support,” Cuomo Neri said. “Still hard to believe.”
The doctor in the case and his attorney have chosen not to comment.There are no disciplinary actions in the doctor’s record, according to the Department of Health’s website.
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Cuomo-Neri said he wanted to file a civil suit to find out more about what went wrong and hold someone responsible, but he’s heard similar responses from multiple attorneys.
“Sorry, we can’t help you.’ And I said, what? What do you mean,” said Cuomo Neri. “And he said Florida law. Then he started explaining it. I can’t put it in. So I want someone to take responsibility.”
A surge in malpractice lawsuits nearly 30 years ago prompted Florida legislators to change the state’s wrongful death law to limit parents of children over the age of 25 from filing malpractice lawsuits. .
The law also prohibits children over the age of 25 from filing claims involving divorced or widowed parents.
A change to remove the age limit passed the Florida House of Representatives for the second year in a row, but failed to pass the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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Former committee chairman Zephyrhills Sen. Danny Burgess said last year that the law as written would open the floodgates for litigation. He said he expects
Jacksonville Republican Clay Yarborough has become the new chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. This change to the Leader Shop has given hope to those who advocate lifting restrictions.
Cuomo Neri said he expects to testify before seeking passage in Congress.
“What I want to tell them is that my son had a life,” said Cuomo Neri. “My son’s life was taken from him.”
Cuomo Neri said she filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health, alleging her son was the victim of medical malpractice.