Hank Garcia

The following was written by Darlene Garcia, the wife of Henry “Hank” Garcia.  This story can also be read on her FaceBook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaiser911/       Darlene and her daughter  Lisa also shared the story at: http://rewardsradiotv.com/AUDIO/vickie-t/index.html

Darlene Garcia, wife of Henry “Hank” Garcia

March 5, 2016 – Today is my husband’s Birthday for those of you who did not know him personally his name is Henry Garcia he went by Hank.

He was a man of the integrity, a man of his word.   If he said he was going to something he would do it come hell or high water. He was a man, yet he was not afraid to shed tears when something touched his heart. His family meant the most to him.   When it came to his family he would do anything for them especially for me.  If I asked him to paint the fence purple he would do it and if I said I made a mistake that color looks terrible he would change and laugh because that was the kind of man he was.

There was only one person who he loved more than me and that was his granddaughter Madison.   She was his sunshine and they had a special bond. I was so blessed.   No one else could have put up with me for 45 years.

Here is his story of how he died.  I have done my best to shorten it and apologize for it being so long.

On the sixth of June 2013 we went to see his primary doctor as you know we had Kaiser insurance.

His primary doctor was no longer available and Hank was seen by Dr Taylor.   The reason for visit – he just was not feeling good. While we were there I pointed out to her that he had a mole on his right eyebrow that looked like it had changed. Dr Taylor glance at it and told us it was nothing to worry about and said to concentrate on why we were there. Every time Hank had a doctor’s appointment we would point it out to her and her answer was the same nothing to worry about.   She said that we all get moles as we age.   This went on for nearly a year.

Finally on 2-10-14 my husband insisted the mole be removed because he did not like the way it looked and had become bothersome.   Her answer was –  I will schedule you with surgery but will make no promises they will remove it” IT IS JUST A BARNACLE OF LIFE AND WE GET THEM AS WE GET OLDER.”

He had the mole removed in March 7 2014 and that is when we found out it was malignant melanoma stage 3.

We were completely shocked there are not enough words to explain how we felt as we had put our trust in Dr. Taylor, believing her when she said it was nothing to worry about.

We had lost out trust in Kaiser and continually asked to get a second opinion out side of Kaiser and were continually denied.

I tell you this so you know that  if you have Kaiser insurance you are locked in to Kaiser unless you want to pay out of pocket for an outside of Kaiser opinion or medical care.

Finally my daughter did pay for a second opinion at John Wayne Hospital.

August 3, 2014 my husband started getting a pain in his stomach which traveled to his back.   We went to Urgent Care in Fontana and met with Dr.Bigdeli she gave my husband some Zofran had an x-ray done and put in orders to do a repeat of labs the next day. Sent us home telling my husband he needed to drink more water and see his doctor which he had a appointment already scheduled for the next day on 8-4-2014.

We met with Dr. Saeed and he did nothing did not repeat labs he told us maybe the cancer might have come back. Sent us home and said to schedule a appointment for two weeks.

On 8-06-14 I got a call from his new primary care doctor Dr. Flores ( we asked for a new primary as we no longer trusted Dr. Taylor), he told me my husbands blood counts are off. I begged him to help us that my husband is in pain.

Hank got admitted to Kaiser Ontario where he was admitted by Dr.Dao.

When Dr. Dao met with us he commented on how great and strong my husband Hank looked and that he was expecting to see a feeble old man based on my husbands medical charts. And he said that Hank would be discharged in one day.

My husband was started on fluids and that is when his legs began to swell up and he his urine turned brown. I point it out to Dr Dao and he tells me they are not that bad.  It was happening, probably due to the fluid they are giving my husband.  I also let Dr. Dao know about the pain in my husband’s stomach and back. He also said that maybe it is the cancer coming back and ordered a xray of my husbands back. He told us my husband does not have cancer in his back. I even asked the nurse and she told me they are were treating my husband for dehydration and any new concerns I have I need to speak to his primary care.  My response is how can I speak with him when he does not come to the hospital and has no direct number?

My husband was discharged two days later. I called the appointment center the next morning and asked them to please have Dr. Flores call me. The nurse calls late in the day and I begged her to set an appointment for my husband. I have to beg her because said the hospital discharge notes state my husband does not need to see him for a week.

We saw Dr Flores on 8-11-2014 we showed him how the swelling in my husbands legs was getting worse and told him that Hank’s urine is brown and about the pain in stomach and back.

The doctor ordered a chest xray,  prescribed lasix,  sends in a consult with a diabetic nurse and tells my husband to exercise his legs to get the swelling down.

8-13-14 –  the pain in my husband’s stomach has become excruciating and we went back to Urgent Care Fontana (much happened there )

Next my husband was taken to the ER across the way in a ambulance.

That is when we are told the pain in his stomach was the gallbladder and he now has SEPSIS.

They cannot do surgery because my husband is in no condition for it.

We beg every doctor to please consider surgery and are told no.

We are told they are going to put a tube in my husbands stomach to drain the poison.

It was not done until 24hrs later.

3 days later my husband is transferred to what Kaiser calls a step down because he can still get up and go to the bathroom with my help.

My husband’s swelling was so bad by now that they have to put in a catheter. I helped hold my husband’s penis while she tries to insert it.   The nurse asked me if my husband had prostrate problems. I say no.   Then she proceeded to force it in.

Throughout the day and night my husband was complaining he has to pee. I assured him that it is ok to go – he a catheter in him.

I asked the nurse,  the one who put it in if she is sure is was inserted correctly and  she said yes,  there is only one place it can go.

24 hrs go by and still no urine.  I asked the new nurse if she thinks it is in correctly she say no. I tell her I want it removed she has to call the on call doctor to get approval. I tell her I do care what he says I want it removed she gets approval and when she removes it my husband starts to bleed profusely out of his penis. She calls back the on call doctor to please come down and look at my husband and he says NO wait until the new staff comes on.

We went through several blood soaked towels finally a doctor just happens to stop by to check on my husband.  He was not the on call doctor.

This doctor called for help. My husband was transferred back to the ER where he was given plasma.


I have left out a lot of details to shorten his story.

I believe Kaiser made many mistakes two of them was not listening to our original concerns about the mole and the pain in my husband’s stomach.

I have asked myself what if they would have detected the cancer a year earlier?  What if they would have done a simple ultra sound?   How things would have been different.

My life has forever changed

Thank you taking the time to read Hank’s Story the Greatest Man I have ever known.