February 3, 2016 9:21 pm
Updated: February 4, 2016 8:48 pm

After misdiagnosis and lengthy treatment wait times, Princeton widow says ‘it was just too late’


PRINCETON — Fred Cosman was suffering when Global News first met him last April and a tumour on his nose seemed to be growing out of control. He said he was misdiagnosed twice before a specialist finally discovered he had lymphoma.

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However, even after an accurate diagnosis, Cosman was waiting two months for an appointment at a cancer clinic in Kelowna. Desperate, he contacted Global News. Once the story aired, he was scheduled for an appointment at the clinic and word of his plight spread fast, all the way to the B.C. legislature.

But his family believes it was a too little too late.

On January 19, Cosman passed away at Princeton General Hospital.

“If he was properly diagnosed in the beginning I’m sure the outcome would’ve been different,” says Cosman’s widow, Tina Krause.

“I don’t want this to happen to any other families. It has been very painful. People shouldn’t have to suffer and go through what we have had to go through.”

Krause says by the time he received medical attention, the cancer had spread to cover more than just his nose.

“His whole face was covered; his chest was covered; it had spread through his whole body and it did eventually spread into his lungs. That’s when he started getting weaker,” she explains.

Krause doesn’t blame any individuals but says the health care system has failed them, adding all the red tape became a stumbling block in Cosman’s road to recovery.

“People don’t have time to wait and that’s where the system is failing us. It isn’t one specific person it is all the steps needed.”

Dr. Curtis Bell, a community medical director with the Interior Health Authority, says he cannot comment on the specifics of the case and offers his condolences. He does say improvements can be made to provide better care.

“There are circumstances where all the details aren’t fully understood or other things come to light later on, that make it hard to always do the right thing at the right time,” he says.

Interior Health says if patients or family of patients feel they have a concern or complaint that isn’t being properly addressed, they can contact the Patient Care and Quality Office.

The Health Minister responds to Cosman’s death in the story here.

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