Once upon a time, I believed in our judicial system. I used to look up to authority figures — they had class and actually cared about the people they were serving.
Now, in 2018, I have no faith left in this system. Sometimes the system does work for people, and I am very happy for those who have seen the system work in their favor. But this is my story and the story of 452 other people fighting for what is right and against the corruption in the Ohio courts after a man who claimed to be a doctor, but, according to all evidence we can find, was never even licensed as a medical doctor.
Trusting a monster.
I, like hundreds of others, felt hopeful in 2008 when I met a man named Atiq Durrani, a rising star orthopedic surgeon who claimed he could do things that no other surgeon could do. All of us who have been hurt went to him through referrals or because he worked for hospitals we trusted in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Durrani worked for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Christ Hospital, and West Chester Hospital (an affiliate of UC Health). These hospitals have done amazing things for people in the past, so we didn’t question anything.
But according to court affidavits, Durrani lied about attending Bolen Medical College, and Army Medical College denies he ever attended their program, as he has also claimed. And yet he performed surgery on hundreds of us, and these trusted hospitals covered for him even after they knew he wasn’t qualified.
You always hope that hospitals and doctors have your best interests at heart, but sadly it seems this wasn’t the case with these particular hospitals.
Screenshot from an affidavit filed in the court of common pleas, Hamilton County, OH
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My geneticist referred me to Durrani. I trusted this medical professional to send me to the best person, someone he thought could help me.
I now know that he didn’t have my best interests at heart. I had already endured 4 lumbar spine surgeries and kept having to go back to do more surgery when my vertebrae would not fuse together. I was exhausted.
That first meeting with Durrani gave me so much hope. He said he could fix me in one try. I was elated because the pain wasn’t easy to deal with at only 25 years old. I scheduled my surgery with him that same day.
A couple of weeks before my surgery, a nurse called me to tell me my surgery scheduled at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital had to be moved to Christ Hospital and to a new date. She told me that a Saudi prince had fallen off his camel and needed surgery and Durrani was going there to perform it.
I laugh at this unbelievable story now, but at the time, I thought nothing of it.
I later found out that my surgery was moved because he was fired from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The beginning of his deception.
According to lawsuits, instead of the hospital telling the medical boards in Ohio that he had been dismissed — and why — they covered it up. Had they done the right thing and told everyone what happened, hundreds of victims could have been protected from this medical terrorist, and lives could have been saved.
But they didn’t. As a result, so many of us suffered.
Despite his promises that he could fix me in one shot, I had 4 more surgeries with Durrani. He told me that I needed a surgery on my neck to take out a disc and then, a year later, he went back in to take out more discs. The more surgeries I had, the more money he got. He could have taken care of everything in only two surgeries, instead of the five I wound up having.
One thing that continues to haunt me is that I aborted my pregnancy because Atiq Durrani claimed my body couldn’t sustain a pregnancy, which turned out to be incorrect. I assume he told me this because I was scheduled to have an expensive surgery that could not happen had I not terminated my pregnancy.
For one of my surgeries, he was actually suspended from the hospital West Chester Hospital, an affiliate of UC Health. He was given four operating rooms on a given day, which is unheard of. Most surgeons are given one or two ORs at the most, but he was performing surgeries at a fast pace. And when it comes to surgery, faster is rarely better.
One of the author’s many scars.
Part of the reason he was able to maintain such a fast pace was because he allowed other doctors — who also were not qualified — to do his surgeries. To this day, I have no idea who performed my surgeries. He also liked to use non-FDA regulated human and animal stem cells in our surgeries without our consent. And yes, the hospitals knew all of this was happening. And I trusted him through all of this.
In 2013, Durrani was finally arrested by Federal agents for more than 30 felonies for things like Medicare fraud, performing unnecessary surgeries, and prescription fraud. He then fled the country and went back to Pakistan in November 2013, where he continued to perform surgeries on people there until December 2017, when they also suspended his license due to his legal problems in the USA.
Another of the author’s surgery scars.
The pursuit of justice.
After he fled, I realized everything I had heard about him was likely true, and I joined the lawsuits against him and the hospitals.
A lot of us cannot work anymore because of the hack jobs Durrani did on us. I’ve had one corrective surgery so far and need more, but no one will touch me in Ohio because of my lawsuit. They are afraid.
It’s been almost five years since then, and in Ohio, once a lawsuit is filed, your case should be heard in 3 years. We, the 452 plaintiffs in question, have had judge after judge recuse themselves, which makes time go by without a resolution and helps keep the hospitals from coming to terms with their part in this scandal.
We finally had a judge who was ready to hear our cases and set dates for every trial to be heard by January 2017. But the Supreme Court Justice, Maureen O’Connor, who was overseeing the case, removed him as our judge. Since his removal, we have only a handful of cases set for trial — out of 528 total.
Maureen O’Connor hand-selected a new judge and then that new judge recused herself. Then Maureen O’Conner hand-selected another judge who has allegedly been overheard telling people that these cases are “a pain in his ass”.
Once we realized something wasn’t right, we looked into Maureen O’Connor and found out the biggest contributions to her campaigns came from the exact hospitals we are suing as well as the law firms we are fighting. How does that make sense? How can she be impartial?
Here we are, fighting for our lives, and it now seems likely that our State Supreme Court Justice Maureen O’Connor may be partial to the other side.
We have tried to have her removed, but have been unsuccessful. She says she is being completely impartial, but the facts are the facts. Something just doesn’t add up.
Anyone would be concerned about this connection and what it could possibly mean for us. All the while, we are trying to get justice for going through a hell that was completely avoidable, suffering even more so all because a judge seems to be beholden to these hospitals.
This, right here, is the American Judicial System.
Christy Goldstein a certified life and relationship coach through World Coach Institute and a sex coach/sexpert. She also co-wrote the international bestseller Secrets to Drama Free Love.
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