A former patient of Ben Carson, the retired neursurgeon and GOP presidential candidate, claims he is a “liar” who ruined her life by botching surgery on her brain tumor. “I regret ever having met him,” Karly Bailey told TheWrap. “I wish I didn’t.”
Bailey, who was 9 years old when she went under Carson’s knife in 1995, claimed the future candidate went against her family’s wishes by removing her brain tumor in its entirety, despite her parents’ repeated demands that the growth be only partially removed due to its proximity to the brain stem.
“I made the worst decision of my life when I agreed to let him operate on my daughter,” her father, John Bailey, told TheWrap.
According to the family, the operation left Karly, now 27, paralyzed on her right side and suffering from vertical nystagmus, which causes severe dizziness. When she finally went back to school after more than seven months of intense rehab, she was so disfigured that she was bullied by fellow students.
“She was called a freak because of her face,” John Bailey said. “She had to learn how to write with her left hand.”
Bailey also alleged that Carson made numerous “misstatements” of medical facts in his sworn affidavit in an attempt to cover up his medical mistakes.
Carson’s representatives did not reply to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The Baileys first filed a claim against Carson and Johns Hopkins Hospital with the Maryland Healthcare Alternative Dispute Resolution Office in 2009. After much legal wrangling, the case was dismissed this past June; it is currently under appeal.
According to a story last week in the National Enquirer, titled “Bungling Surgeon Ben Carson Left Sponge in Patient’s Brain!” Carson has been the subject of at least at least six malpractice lawsuits over the years.
While the Baileys stand by what they told the Enquirer, others dismiss the story.
Merryl Reynolds, who according to the Enquirer “accused Carson of negligence during 2010 spinal surgery on her 15-year-old son, Austin,” and was quoted saying her son “is now paralyzed from the waist down,” told TheWrap she had no idea where the publication got the quote and didn’t even know about the article’s existence. While Reynolds confirmed that Carson operated on her son, she told TheWrap she would not “describe him that way.”
During an interview with Fox News anchor Sean Hannity last Wednesday, Carson addressed the Enquirer story, saying, “It’s pretty astonishing, and some of those cases never went anywhere.”
Of the Baileys, the candidate added, “You know, they’ve been threatening for years. They said, somehow, ‘You guys have got to pay us money, or we’re going to the media, and we’re going to ruin your career.’ What a bunch of crap. I don’t bother with that stuff.”
Karly said she was shocked to learn that Carson was not only running for president but touting his resume as a brain surgeon to appeal to voters.
“The general public does not know who Ben Carson is,” said Bailey. “I want them to know the kind of person he is. I used to ride horses. I was good at it. After the operation I couldn’t even stand up.”