William Sabo recently had surgery at the Laser Spine Institute in Tampa.
For Sabo, it was a good experience.
“They were great from the time you walk into the door to the time you leave. They were very very nice,” he said.
He was also pleased with the results. After suffering an accident in 1996, he’s lived with some level of pain for years.
For him, the recent surgery worked. He’s now off of pain medication and would like to return to work, but there is a problem.
In order to back on the job, his employer requires a medical clearance by the doctor and now Sabo has no way to contact his physician.
“We’re just kind of lost in the fact that we don’t know what to do,” said Sabo.
Christopher Wowak has a different problem. He had just gone through a variety of tests and consultations with the medical team at the Laser Spine Institute and was looking forward to surgery to relieve his back pain.
“It’s been a rough experience. It took us a year just to get there,” said Wowak.
Friday he went in for a scheduled appointment and paid a $1,500 deposit with his debit card.
Just a few hours later, he learned the Laser Spine Institute was closing up shop.
He tried to get a refund from his debit card, but his bank advised him that isn’t possible, even though he never received the surgery he paid for.
“I’ve got to be honest with you. It’s more than the money. Of course who has $1,500 to throw around. That hurts and I’ll probably never see that money again, but more importantly I finally found a doctor that was going to do it right. I was going to be out of pain. I was going to be able to get back to work,” said Wowak.
Dozens of other patients are now in similar circumstances, wondering where to turn for help.