The Kaiser Papers A Public Service Web SiteIn Copyright Since September 11, 2000
This web site is in no manner affiliated with any Kaiser entity and the for profit Permanente
Permission is granted to mirror this web site -
Please acknowledge where the material was obtained.


Kaiser Heart Horror Stories

Seventh:  Biggest Nightmare of Them All
The Cardiology Doctor, Charles Cowan
In Riverside Kaiser
January 13, 2005, signed in at 7:55 A.M.

Well, too good to be true; the horror was right around the corner in another department.  It was time for my pacemaker to be checked out on a machine in cardiology by a doctor named Charles Cowan.

I got to my appointment early because I had therapy afterwards.  So here I waited to be called into the cardiology department.  I was called in and I followed the nurse to the room and she said that the doctor will be in shortly, strip to the waist and put on the gown and the doctor will be right in.  Ok, all done, and true to her word, the doctor came in.

Charles Cowan went right to the machine and I started to talk to him and he said wait till I am done and you can talk.  He got ready to put the leads on me but first he pressed down hard on my chest and breasts to locate the pacemaker.  I told him he is pressing too hard on my chest and he replied, "OK."  "I found it now" and he sat down in the chair in front of the machine.  "Oops, I forgot the lead, so sit up and  I'll put it on.  Now lay back down."  He went back to his chair and I noticed a lot of paper coming out of the machine as he typed.  "Oh, What is happening?"  I am starting to feel funny.  I am having trouble breathing, starting to have chest pains too.  It was so bad that I started  losing my hearing and my eye sight was starting to dim.  

I started screaming "Stop you are killing me!"  I screamed over and over again and noticed that I couldn't move.  (Dimly I could see him rocking back and forth saying, "I have to do it")  By this time I am in a dark placed and all of a sudden I felt my body jerk and everything was starting to come back.  My hearing, eye sight and pain and gasping for air.  The pain was unreal like someone had a hold of my lungs and was squeezing all the air out of them.  I could see him in the chair at the machine with a lot of paper coming out.  It was all the way to the floor and beyond.  I screamed at him, saying "you killed me and brought me back", over and over.

He replied, "I had to do it."  He said it more than once while he was rocking back and forth in the chair.

All of a sudden he got up and took the leads off of me quickly and then scrambled to pick up all that paper in his arms, while some of it dangled from his arms and as he walked out I asked him if I could get a copy of the paperwork and he said "No."  I was so scared right then that maybe he would come back in to finish me off.  I stayed there for a short time and gathered my composure then got  dressed and left the room.  I approached a nurse to complain and she just shooed me on by.  I walked up the the lady at the desk to tell her and she acted like she didn't want to be bothered.  I then went out to the elevators to go to my next appointment and was moving very shaky.  I was on my way to my therapy.  I must have blacked out for a few seconds as I found myself setting on the floor of the elevator sobbing.  I had people asking me if I was ok and did I need help.

I gathered myself together and said, "I think I am ok now, thank you."  I walked to the other side of the building for my appointment.  While getting therapy, I told my therapist what had happened.

She didn't seem too surprised.  After I finished, I went home and  called Membership Services, and put in a complaint.

I told my new doctor, Doctor West and he was shocked.  I told many other people in Kaiser and they didn't understand why he would do this to me.  He turned off my pacemaker, which my heart is dependent on for me to stay alive.

I also called the police department to get him arrested because thinking about what happened, if something was wrong he could have gotten a nurse to explain what had happened and to comfort me.

So I have come to think that he may have been a pervert causing me pain and enjoying it.  He probably would think, who would believe her anyway?  I had also asked for my records on what had taken place and the read out from the machine. By coincidence, they could not find the records for over 7 weeks.  Finally they found them and the read out he did on me.   However, the times on the read out and the times that I was there and the length of time it took me to walk to my therapy appointment do not coincide.  It if did then it only took me 5 minutes to get to my therapy and make the co-payment.

Boy, I must be a fast walker!

So I feel that the papers were falsified to keep me quiet.  

Yes he is still working at Kaiser in Riverside, but over the phone they said he has a nurse that goes in with him because of no proof of what took place.  (By the way, I canceled my appointment for surgery as I was scared to get it now.)