Thaddeus Dixon says he was rushed to the emergency room of the Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur in April 2007 because of severe stomach pains.

Once there, a series of medical misdiagnoses and mistakes caused Dixon additional ongoing problems, according to a medical malpractice suit against the hospital on June 12 in Jefferson County District Court. Dixon is acting as his own attorney.

The suit states that after Dixon was examined at the Medical Center, he was diagnosed with pneumonia. Still, after three days in the hospital, Dixon was not able to hold any food down and was not feeling better, so doctors performed an X-ray of his abdominal area, the suit states.

"When the results came back, I was told I had two holes in my stomach and I needed to undergo surgery to correct this problem," the complaint says.

Doctors cut a hole about 9 inches long in Dixon's abdomen and removed muscle. However, during the surgery, doctors discovered they were incorrect about the holes in Dixon's stomach, Dixon claims.

"To make matters worse, something went terribly wrong when the doctor stapled, or failed to completely staple this incision back together, because seven months later, after continued suffering from pain in the same area, I was informed that a digital hernia had occurred as a result of this surgery," the suit states.

Because of the botched surgery, Dixon says he is forced to take two different medications to help him use the restroom and is unable to lift anything more than 15 pounds. To fix the problem, Dixon will have to undergo another surgery, according to the complaint.

Dixon states he will be representing himself because he has no money to pay for an attorney, he says.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E184-281.

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