General News of Thu, 15 Apr 20044
Heroin mule sues hospital
Convicted drug smuggler William Kanyi is hoping his latest federal lawsuit doesn't also get flushed away.
Nabbed by customs agents at Kennedy Airport in 1998, Kanyi passed 44 heroin-filled condoms. Then doctors at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Queens operated to remove another seven.
Kanyi, who says he did not consent to the operation, is seeking $5 million from the hospital and two doctors in a malpractice suit.
Kanyi, who served 27 months in prison and was then deported to his native Ghana, already tried suing the feds for $25 million. But a judge dumped that case in 2002.
"I'm not what I was," Kanyi, 46, said in a videotaped deposition played at his civil trial in Brooklyn Federal Court. "Stomach pains. And also vomiting when I eat. I've been having nightmares about what happened to me."
Customs agents told doctors Kanyi appeared sleepy and that they suspected one of the condoms was leaking or had ruptured. Kanyi passed 44 of the 51 condoms with the aid of a laxative called Go-Lightly, but doctors went in for the rest after his urine showed the presence of opiates.
"Just give me time for the whole thing in my tummy to come out," Kanyi recalled begging emergency room doctors.
As it turned out, none of the condoms removed during the procedure had ruptured.
"I made a decision that the patient needed surgery," Dr. Manuel Fajardo testified yesterday, although the surgeon acknowledged that the anesthesiologist "was concerned" about going forward without Kanyi's okay.
Lawyers for the hospital and the doctors declined to comment.