MCALLEN, Texas – An alleged victim of a valley doctor accused of misdiagnosing patients for financial gain is speaking for the first since she says she was falsely diagnosed and forced to undergo chemotherapy she did not need.
36-year-old Georgina Escobar says she was under Dr. Jorge Zamora Quezada’s care for seven years. She claims Quezada falsely diagnosed her with a chronic disease for money.
“To me he was helping me. How can this man be hurting me? You’re helping me. But as time passed, we all noticed everything was happening after I would see him. I would see him, and I would get sick and then I’d get better then see him and get sick again.”
Escobar shows pictures of her before seeking Dr. Quezada’s care. She says he forced her to undergo treatments she did not need.
“He diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis and put me on chemotherapy. I was up to 12 medications by Dr. Quezada. He convinced me that I was very, very sick and said, ‘If you don’t take the treatments now, the quality of life with your children is going to be non-existent’. He brainwashed me for a long time. Even when I didn’t have money to cover my visits, he would see me for free and cover the $4,000 shots.”
The clinical director at Nova Vita says Escobar is undergoing treatment with ketamine, a drug used to treat depression, chronic pain and post traumatic stress disorders.
Jorge Alvarez, Nota Vita, “She’s definitely transformed completely. When she came here she had a mask, a surgical mask because she had a body image disturbance. To see her the way I see her, she stopped wearing the mask she’s just a whole new person.”
Quezada stands accused of collecting nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in medical fraud by allegedly misdiagnosing patients in the Rio Grande Valley. He’s accused of prescribing drugs and treatments like chemotherapy and organ transplants that his patients did not need.
Georgina Escobar is now at the Nota Vita Medical Center where she is being treated for major depressive disorder. She says this comes after she finds out Dr. Zamora purposely misdiagnosed her, causing her to lose her home, car, and distance herself from family.
“We did get second opinions and it turned out that I was not in fact, I did not have. In those seven years I endured a lot of pain, I’m epileptic now. My hair fell, my teeth fell as you can tell. I was severely depressed. My anxiety was really, really bad.”
Over the years there have been about 10,000 patients under Quezada’s care. However, the government won’t have to prove they were all defrauded to secure a conviction. Multiple patients are set to testify during Quezada’s trial which is set to begin September 18.
The doctor’s wife, Meisy Zamora, was also arrested on health care fraud charges. The two are set to have a joint trial.