LAS VEGAS (KVVU/CNN) - A jury awarded nearly $1.8 million to a Las Vegas man living with a metal wire in his body after a surgery.
“You freak out like what?” German Ortiz said. “I’ve got a wire in my heart.”
Ortiz's story starts in 2005. He went in for an angiogram and angioplasty. To do that, the doctor threads a thin metal wire up through the body to the heart.
The procedure starts in the right thigh. Catheters go up to deploy the contrast dye and it shows if there are any blockages in the arteries.
The doctors stitched him back up and Ortiz went on his way. Everything seemed fine but in 2015 he went to a different doctor for a chest X-ray.
The doctor pulled him aside.
"At first, you didn't really believe it. And then when you realize that the doctor was being serious, that she was really telling you that ‘hey, you really do have a metallic wire inside of your heart and you need to talk to your doctor,’" Ortiz said.
The doctor responsible for the botched surgery was Mark Taylor at the Heart Center of Nevada, Ortiz said.
More medical complications followed. The bills piled up, so Ortiz and his wife took Taylor to court.
"I wasn't seeking money,” Ortiz said. “I was seeking justice."
That was three years ago.
Just last year, doctors removed 81.5 centimeters of wire.
There’s still more than 2 feet left that’s too dangerous to take out.
Ortiz is an Air Force veteran and a church missionary. He said the wire is holding him back.