Suit alleges physical therapy resulted in heart patient’s death

An Alton rehab facility and others are accused of wrongfully putting a heart patient through physical therapy, which allegedly caused him to suffer cardiac arrest.

Shelby Gavellas, special administrator of the Estate of James Gavellas filed a complaint Jan. 8 in the Madison County Circuit Court against OSF Healthcare St. Anthony’s Health Center, Behfar Dianati, M.D., CEP Amerida-Illinois Hospitalists LLP, Bijoy Hedge, M.D., Granite City Physicians Corp., Rosewood Care Center, now known as Riverside Rehab and Healthcare and others, alleging malpractice and wrongful death.

According to her complaint, Shelby Gavellas alleges her father, James Gavellas, was admitted to St. Anthony’s ICU on May 17, 2019, due to suffering from “critical” aortic stenosis, shortness of breath and end-stage renal disease. On May 21, 2019, James Gavellas was sent to Riverside Care Center to await cardiac surgery, according to the suit. The plaintiff claims that while at Riverside, her father underwent “inappropriate” physical and occupational therapy. She alleges that after one of his sessions on May 28, 2019, he went into cardiac arrest, lost consciousness and was pronounced dead at Alton Memorial Hospital.

Shelby Gavellas alleges the defendants were negligent in failing to properly evaluate and determine if it was safe for her father to undergo rehabilitation.

The plaintiff seeks monetary relief of more than $50,000 and all other just relief.

This article was first published in Madison Record.

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