KATHLEEN -- One of the victims named in a criminal case involving a former radiology technician at Perry Hospital accused of entering negative results for 10 mammograms that were actually positive has died.
Miriam Wheelus Mizell, 63, of Kathleen, died Saturday at the Heart of Georgia Hospice Inpatient Care after a long battle with cancer, her obituary stated. Her funeral service was Tuesday at Houston Lake Baptist Church.
Mizell, a retired program controller, wife, mother and grandmother, who loved Jesus, her family, riding motorcycles and her home on the lake, had breast cancer.
She previously was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer about four years ago that spread to her liver and lungs. With metastatic colorectal cancer, the prognosis was three to five years, Mizell said when she shared her story with The Telegraph in September 2010.
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In the interview, Mizell said she had forgiven the former radiology technician, expressed affection for her family and urged individuals to be vigilant about their health care.
“It’s an important story because we trust our medical team. We take it for granted, but we can’t,” Mizell said.
Rachael Michelle Rapraeger, 31, of Macon, the former radiology technician for Perry Hospital, was indicted by a Houston County grand jury Sept. 7, 2010, on 10 counts of felony computer forgery and 10 counts of misdemeanor reckless conduct. She is accused of entering negative results for 1,289 mammograms at Perry Hospital that were not read by a radiologist from Jan. 22, 2009, to April 1, 2010.
Of the 1,289, 10 of the mammograms entered as negative were actually positive, according to former Houston County prosecutors who originally took the case before a grand jury.
In addition to being one of the victims named in a criminal case, Mizell was also among four women who had filed lawsuits as of the fall of 2011.
Mizell had received a negative result from a routine mammogram done at Perry Hospital on Feb. 12, 2009. As a result, a malignant tumor in her right breast went undiagnosed for the next 14 months, the lawsuit stated.
On April 12, 2010, Mizell was notified she had been randomly selected to receive a free mammogram on new equipment, the lawsuit stated.
Mizell’s case was settled outside of court and, thus, dismissed, Bibb County State Court records show. Settlement details were not disclosed in the court file, and Mizell, who previously shared her story openly, declined to comment in September 2011 based on a confidential clause of the settlement.
A lifelong resident of Houston County, Mizell was retired from Robins Air Force Base where she worked as a civil servant for 30 years, her obituary stated. She was a 1966 graduate of Perry High School.
She was remembered in her obituary as “a kind, sweet, loving person who enjoyed her flower garden” and whose memory will be “cherished” by her husband, M.L. Mizell, and by her children, step-children and grandchildren.
Rapraeger, who is free on a $50,000 bond pending trial, maintains her innocence, Floyd Buford, a Macon attorney representing her on the criminal charges, previously stated.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.