Misdiagnosis During COVID-19
- 35 year-old John McCaullum, a married father of two, was experiencing stomach pains and fever and was advised to take a COVID-19 test, which came back negative.
- After severe pains, he went to the hospital where he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer; he underwent surgery and chemotherapy and is currently raising money for specialized treatment in Germany.
- It’s important to be a staunch advocate for your health and come to doctor’s appointments with a plan, our experts say.
John’s Cancer Battle
The father-of-two was experiencing stomach pain and fever in May reports The Daily Mail, and was advised to get tested for COVID-19 in response to his symptoms. The test came back negative, and a month later, McCallum continued having terrible stomach pains, and so he took himself to the hospital.
There, he was diagnosed with cancer; McCallum had a cancerous tumor in his bowel and immediately went into surgery. Despite the surgery, the cancer has spread to other parts of his body, including his liver, and doctors have told him they are unable to operate again. McCaullum has had six months of chemotherapy, and is hoping a treatment in Germany will prolong his life. The treatment uses live donor liver for people battling bowel cancer who are no longer operable.
The Daily Mail reports McCallum is trying to raise £220,000 for the lifesaving treatment in Germany.
Advocating for Your Health
When it comes to speaking up and advocating for your health, especially during a global pandemic, it’s important to do your research, and have a plan. Come to your doctor appointment ready to ask lots of questions, and seek out second, third, and fourth opinions if you’re not able to find adequate answers to what’s happening in your body.
Dr. Zuri Murrell, a colorectal surgeon at Cedars-Sinai, says in an earlier interview, “The truth is you have to be in tune with your body, and you realize that you are not the statistic…That’s why it’s important for you to actually educate yourself and be your own health care advocate. And that’s something that I think is really important. You should lead each doctor’s appointment with a plan.”