Why Wasn't He Stopped Sooner?

An Undisciplined Doctor

For years, Raymond Hilson thought the infection that left him disfigured was just a stroke of very bad luck. Today he thinks it could have been worse. A school-bus driver from Colfax, Wis., Hilson, now 73, underwent heart-bypass surgery in 1994 at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire. At first the procedure seemed to have gone well. But Hilson contracted a severe staph infection. To treat it, doctors "kept cutting back the flesh and bone," he recalls, until his entire sternum was removed, leaving his beating heart visible just under the skin.

While there is no evidence that Hilson's surgeon was...

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