It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: Being diagnosed with a terminal illness and given only months to live.
Of course, there's always the extremely rare chance it was all a mistake.
Luckily for a traumatized Mark Templin, it was an incorrect diagnosis—one that resulted in an almost $60,000 settlement.
In 2009, Templin had gone to the Fort Harrison VA Medical Center in Fort Harrison, Mont., with chest pains. After being given a stent he appeared to recover. But he returned a week later complaining of problems with memory, vision, speech and headaches. After getting a CT scan, he was told by Dr. Patrick Morrow that he had terminal brain cancer and that he had only months to live. With a death sentence hanging over him, Templin, who is in his 70s, sold his truck, quit his job, held a “last birthday party” and paid for his future funeral. His son-in-law built a box for his ashes.
He even contemplated suicide, according to CBS News.
He was prescribed two kinds of medication to treat the supposed brain cancer. He was also given hospice care, a service provided to those with terminal illnesses.
Then, inexplicably, Templin began to get better. He went back for more tests and found he did not have brain cancer but had suffered a series of small strokes He did, however, have a lawsuit on his hands.
U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy pointed to Morrow's "negligent failure to meet the standard of care" in giving the diagnosis in 2009.
The judge noted that his ruling was influenced by Templin’s actions in preparing for his death. “It is difficult to put a price tag on the anguish of a man wrongly convinced of his impending death," Molloy wrote in his ruling, according to CBS News.
Templin was awarded $500 per day for the initial period of pain and distress, and $300 for the later period, ending in the new set of tests.
The hospital was also ordered to foot the bill of the “last” birthday party and the prearranged funeral.
Total amount awarded: $59,820. News that you’re not dying of brain cancer: Priceless.