Former Perwaiz patients closely watching trial

Crime

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — There have now been three weeks of testimony in the case against OB-GYN Dr. Javaid Perwaiz.

Prosecutors have leaned on lots of information from patient charts, medical facility complaints and testimony to back to the charges. Some of them the doctor himself admitted to. Many of the OB-GYN’s former patients have been there in court watching things unfold.

“I felt joyful when I left the courtroom yesterday, because I saw him squirming,” said Sonya Medlin.

Medlin was a Perwaiz patient for nearly two decades. She had three surgeries with him. One of those, a hysterectomy, she agrees she needed.

“I didn’t expect a total hysterectomy,” she added. “He told me he would not take my ovaries and he did.”

Medlin is one of many patients who have been watching their former OB-GYN on trial. On Thursday, prosecutors grilled Perwaiz when he was on the stand.

Prosecutors asked Perwaiz about his actions in 1983 at Maryview Medical Center. His privileges were revoked after he was accused of poor clinical judgment involving a series of hysterectomies and having sex with a patient. Medlin had no idea about any of that when she first saw him that same year.

“That’s why I said the word ‘fool’ comes to mind,” Medlin added. “Here is someone in your town and it’s my own doctor and [I] don’t know that.”

Just after his privileges were revoked at Maryview, Perwaiz applied to work at Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. Investigators told the court Maryview warned Chesapeake Regional, but he was granted access anyway.

Much of Perwaiz’s trial has revolved around allegedly doing unnecessary surgeries and inducing pregnant patients too early.

Perwaiz faced scrutiny starting in 2002 from Maryview staff over inducing women who were less than 39 weeks. Staff told him he was delivering babies for no reason.

He faced the same pressure from Chesapeake Regional around 2008. In fact, nurses there coined the phrase “a Perwaiz special” for babies who were delivered early and needed special care in the nursery.

Nothing was ever done to the doctor. Nurses tell 10 On Your Side that was because he was a “money maker.” Investigators say he brought in $18.4 million to Chesapeake Regional in the last 10 years and another $3 million for Bon Secours Harbour View.

“I feel like I need to speak for the women who were there from like 1983 until 2010,” Medlin said. “Women who are like myself and are not involved in this case, but were involved with him.”

Perwaiz admitted he backdated sterilization forms for pregnant patients to do surgeries less than the required 30-day period. He still billed insurance.

He also said he changed pregnant patients’ blood pressures and glucose levels, though he had a hard time explaining why.

The case should wrap up sometime next week. Medlin has one request if he is found guilty.

“I would really like it if we can have a march of women who could walk by him and look at him and remind him that we aren’t numbers,” Medlin said. “We aren’t the columns on the page. We are not the insurance payment, but we the women who looked in his eyes and trusted him.”


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