In 2013, Dr. Amy Reed had her uterus removed because of fibroids. Unbeknownst to her, the surgeon used a power morcellator for the procedure. Only after she was stricken with upstaged uterine leiomyosarcoma did she find out that the surgical tool was used in her case.
Dr. Reed's husband, a Harvard-affiliated surgeon, knew the dangers of the device and was strictly against the use of it. He and his wife began fighting back against the medical community that heralded the device as a good option for many women.
The power morcellator is a tool with multiple blades that enabled surgeons to perform fibroid removal and hysterectomies through a minimally invasive method. The issue with the tool is that it would sling tissues that were being sliced into the body. These tissues sometimes held hidden cancer cells that would come to life once they were flung about.
The type of cancer that Dr. Reed suffered from was a very aggressive cancer. The women who suffered from this cancer were essentially handed a painful death sentence.
Knowing the risks that she was facing, she opted to use her professional experience and her personal situation to become an advocate for the women who were suffering from the same thing as she was. She and her husband faced challenges from their own medical community, but she didn't let that stop her.
Sadly, Dr. Reed's battle and advocacy campaign ended recently. She was 44 when she died. Her efforts have paved the way for women who suffered from this same situation to seek compensation for the horrors that they are facing.
Source: USA Today, "Woman who fought gynecologic surgical procedure dies of cancer," Patti Singer, May 25, 2017