In a snafu with near-fatal consequences, Harlem Hospital erroneously informed a 54-year-old married woman that she had terminal HIV, hepatitis and herpes. Maria Osorio, 54, of Passaic, was at the hospital to take advantage of a $15 mammogram screening on Valentine's Day last February when a nurse offered a free instant cheek swab and blood test. The results came back positive for HIV, sending Osorio into a suicidal tailspin and nearly destroying her marriage of 37 years. "I wanted to throw myself on the subway tracks," she tells the Post. And her husband, Gabriel Lezcano, 60, who works as a janitor in New Jersey, was really in the dog house:
I started screaming violently at him. I pushed him. I pulled his hair. 'Who were you with?' I asked him. He kept denying that he was with anyone, but I kept raising my voice and pushing him. 'You must have been with someone. You must have had too many beers and maybe now you just don't remember!'
"I've been a good man to you," Lezcano insisted. "I haven't been with anyone else. I am a very scrupulous man. I just do my work and I come home." Lezcano tried to convince her that "someone was trying to trick us," but she wouldn't listen, and they both became addicted to sleeping pills as they moved to separate beds. A few days after the initial diagnosis, the hospital called again say Osorio's disease was very advanced.
Three weeks later, the hospital called to say, oopsy, that she was perfectly healthy! But Osorio says they still haven't recovered from the initial shock: "This has really hurt our marriage. We are afraid to have any sexual contact with each other. We are still very nervous." But with any luck, some money from the medical-malpractice lawsuit they filed against the city last week will help patch things up.