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Ep# 21: Elsie Saba: Tell the World of Doctor's Death Traps

Elsie Saba trailer - in this clip Elsie tells about her experience with the surgeon and then her lawyer.

Elsie Saba: Tell the World of Doctor's Death Traps


Fulbright Scholarship


Elsie Blanche Saba was born in 1930 - born in Nazareth, when it was in Palestine - when she was 2 months she went with her mother to see her father who was working on an archeaological dig in Egypt for Princeton University - then transferred to Antioch (Turkey) to excavate Roman artefacts - Elsie went to a private school 


WW II started and Princeton closed the project - her family to moved to Haifa until Germans bombed and they moved to Nazareth - her parents enrolled Elsie in Smith's College in Jerusalem until 10th grade boarding school with German nuns - when war got worse and they closed the school - so her parents hired French nuns to teach Elsie - when she finished high school, Elsie told her parents she wanted to smuggle herself to the American University in Beirut, Lebanon


Her father said she would be killed crossing the mountains - Elsies parents hired a smuggler to get Elsie across the mountains to Lebanon - eventually she went back and forth 4 times  


After she graduated from university she returned to Nazareth until 1955 and moved to the US to attend Kalamazoo University with Masters Degree - in 1962 Elsie won the National Travel Award and in 1964 she won a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Paris


Elsie taught high school in San Diego - in 1972 while helping her students she fell on the floor and went to her internist and he took an x-ray of her back and her ankle - Elsie had severe pain but the internist said it would go away - then Elsie started hemorrhaging and went to a gynecologist and he said Elsie had an orange size ovarian cyst and he needed to operate - Elsie said 'no', she felt she the problem was in her right kidney - but he wouldn't listen and Elsie got another referral


Else went to Dr Vandenberg and he agreed she needed an IVP (x-ray of kidneys) and that she did not have an ovarian cyst - but her internist, Dr Pund, refused the IVP - Elsie begged him for IVP because she knew her right kidney was the problem - Dr Pund said he was not following Dr Vandenberg's orders and told Elsie to have the operation to remove the ovarian cyst - after the operation Elsie could not urinate and told her gynecologist and he said it was 'in her head'


The gynecologist said her removed the cyst and her right ovary and a hysterectomy - for 3 months she went to many doctors and the gynecologist said Elsie was healthy, but her internist refused to sign her disability form and told her to go back to work - Elsie told him she couldn't urinate, and he said he would tell the gynecologist to send Elsie for IVP (to x-ray her kidney)


Ovarian cyst surgery


Elsie asked the internist to send her for IVP but he refused and 'didn't want to get involved' - Elsie went for kidney x-ray and then was sent to a urologist and he said he had to do exploratory operation to find the problem - but Elsie's parents said 'no' and told her to go Dr John Steel, urologist and he took x-ray and diagnosed Elsie with a utero pelvic obstruction and that she was born with it


The nerves of the right kidney are pressing against the ureter and causing the obstruction - he sent Elsie to the hospital for an operation - when she woke she could not move her hands, her arms, legs, or breathe, she was dying - Elsie's parents moved from Israel to San Diego 


Elsie's parents hired 3 nurses to care for Elsie in the hospital - Elsie told Dr Pund that she did not believe him when he said she had an ovarian cyst - Dr Pund said he saw the cyst and the ovary removed, but Elsie did not believe him - Elsie had a draining tube inserted to drain urine - Elsie was also harassed by her employer / school


Elsie's class was full of trouble makers - the school had the highest criminal rates - their school wanted Elsie to return, but Elsie said she was too sick - 4 days later Elsie was back home but so sick, she will never forget it: Elsie could not move or ask for help, but she saw a beam of light focus on her utero pelvic obstruction


Elsie went to many doctors telling them the location of her pain, they all said it was 'in her head' - Elsie had to return to work teaching but was still in severe pain and went to see Dr Pund, but he was not there, so Elsie saw his colleague Dr Carmichael, but he refused to help her - Elsie tried many other hospitals and none would help her - she wrote many letters but no one would help her


Elsie's bungalow and classroom where very cold - when Elsie got home from work she cried because of the pain - in the middle of one night, Elsie heard a voice in her sleep telling her to see Dr Michael DeBakey in Houston, Texas - this was after Stanford doctors told her they would do nothing for her - Elsie went to an attorney and said insurance was not paying her because her medical files have been falsified


She hired the attorney - the hearings kept getting postponing for 8 years, then Elsie was told that the statute of limitations prevented her from presenting some of her evidence - Elsie asked her attorney why he didn't protect her, and he said 'because you are nothing, you are a woman and these are 6 male doctors and you are nothing, he kept repeating


Without a doctor, Elsie had to get treatment other ways - she got doxycycline from Tijuana in order to survive - in 1979 Dr DeBakey hospitalized Elsie for 2.5 weeks to run many tests - Elsie found out she still had her ovary and the hysterectomy was unnecessary, and the ovarian cyst did not exist, she never had it - in the court room, the defense claimed Elsie's right ovary had been removed, but she had the recent x-ray to prove it, but the judge refused to allow that evidence


Courts are for the rich


Dr DeBakey's report, which is in Elsie's book, said she still had her ovary, and her right kidney had some minor damage from the obstruction, but she should never have been given toxic antibiotics from Dr Steel, they made her very sick - and she didn't even have an infection according to the Houston urologist - but no doctors want to be involved in the scandal


Elsie had many tests from different hospitals and none of them showed infection - before Dr DeBakey died, Elsie went back to get the tests repeated - he told her she needed annual xrays of her kidneys and an MRI - Elsie made a mistake in telling Dr Pund that she was seeing Dr DeBakey and word got back to Dr Steel


A nurse told Elsie that Dr Steel instructed another doctor not to tell Elsie the true facts - Elsie had a dream of the doctors pushing over a cliff but she managed to escape - Elsie called a taxi at 10pm and snuck out of the hospital without being seen - and in the morning flew back to San Diego - for the next 12 years Elsie lived with pain and without a doctor - she then met Dr Marino 


Dr Marino was her doctor until he retired a few years ago, now she has no doctor - Dr Steel had done Elsie's abdominal surgery through her back, cutting her nerves, including her sciatica, and that's why she can't walk and has to use a walker


Elsie has written her book to warn others that going to a prominent doctor does not mean they are honest - going to the best hospital, does not mean they are honest - Elsie has a nurse who comes once a month to re-new her medication and will write a prescription - Elsie realizes she will never get help in the US because of her falsified medical record


Elsie wants to send copies of her book to woman in Congress - 'wake up', you have to pass laws to stop doctors from falsifying records, cannot prevent other doctors from helping patients - the law has to be changed - American courts are corrupted and if you're not a millionaire, the courts are not for you - the courts are for the rich doctors, the rich insurance companies - Elsie had to pay 1,000s of dollars in premiums and her insurance company did not help her because her health records were falsified


Elsie's attorney wonders if the judge in her case was bribed - Elsie sued 6 doctors, but she didn't want their money, she just wanted her medical record to have the truth so she can get help - years later Elsie found out Dr Steel's license was revoked for scandalous reasons - Elsie couldn't write her book sooner because she kept falling - she broke her wrist, her hip and injured her liver


On one of Elsie's mountain crossings, she met a Catholic priest, Father Michael, who said he was a psychic - she later found out he was the best psychic in the Middle East - he told Elsie that she would have a severe operation in her lower abdomen - he said she would die for a few seconds but would make it


The priest also told Elsie that she would write a book about her experience and it would be heard by many and change a few things in the medical profession - Elsie paid for the publishing of the book because she wants to help people - she wants to tell people that if someone says you're crazy, don't believe them, believe yourself - and that is Elsie's story.