Mario Guzman

Mario Guzman was a very successful design engineer by day. He designed hardware for semiconductors.   He earned his Master of Science degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Michigan.   Mario was dedicated to his engineering career but was even more dedicated to the love of his life his wife Ludmila. 

Mario and Ludmila met on a blind date in San Jose.  It was love at first sight and nine months later they married.   Mario knew she was a keeper and his life-long mate. 

Always very active, Mario’s passion was triathlons.   He spent much of his time biking, running, and swimming.   He would rise in the early morning hours to go running before work.   It was his passion.   He was an Ironman.   

On a Saturday morning, Mario and Ludmila decided to take a run together.  Well Mario ran and Ludmila took a hike enjoying the day until Mario sprained his ankle.  An athlete, Mario was used to sprains but he knew something was different this time. 

In a lot of pain with a very swollen foot and suffering from a fever, Mario went to see a doctor.  By the time Mario saw the doctor, he could not walk.  His appointment lasted 15 minutes.  The doctor told him he had a sprain and the flu and ordered an x-ray.  The x-ray came back negative for a sprain.   He was just told to take ibuprofen which he did.  Two days later, Mario still had a fever of 104 and could not walk.   

The next day he called his provider and the doctor asked if he was breathing okay.  He was told to call them back the next day.   He had already lost his balance and fallen.   Mario had sepsis but he was in such good physical shape that he could still breathe.   He called his doctor back the next day reporting a fever of 102 and the doctor told him to stay home, and it was normal to have a temperature for days.  Mario and Ludmila sent pictures, continuously called, and tried everything they could to seek medical attention, but the doctor would not listen.   

By the time Mario was taken to the ER at the end of the week, he was in septic shock.   They had to amputate multiple limbs to save his life.   Had they waited another hour, Mario would have died.   Once an Ironman, now Mario faces life in a wheelchair.   

Mario had to undergo emergency surgery that night.   He had a 95 percent chance of dying.   He was on dialysis due to multiple organ failure and spent 3 weeks in the ICU.   They were told to gather their family and prepare for the worst.   A primary factor that saved him was that he was in such amazing health and physical shape.  Yet his lifelong harm could have been avoided had his doctor run $30 worth of tests and medication.   

In order to care for Mario, they had to change their living situation.  Mario could no longer work and Ludmila left her job as a chemical engineer.   She became a business owner focusing on childcare.   

During the ordeal, Mario and his wife made multiple requests for Kaiser to improve their protocols for diagnosing sepsis, all of which were ignored.   

Mario and Ludmilla filed a complaint with the Medical Board of California against Mario’s physician. They sent his case to the Attorney General’s office for an accusation but, a few months later, the case was dropped and the investigation was sealed. 

“The doctor has an impeccable record, while my husband will require intensive medical care for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, the Medical Board made sure that we got no justice. Over 95% of complaints are closed without any sort of disciplinary action.” 

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