COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- A controversial Bonita Springs stem cell doctor is in a Collier County courtroom Tuesday for a hearing on his medical license status. Doctor Zannos Grekos' license is currently suspended after two of his patients have died.
The hearing is a long time coming and focuses on the death of a patient back in 2010. Dr. Grekos performed an experimental stem cell procedure on a 69-year-old woman and records said it unnecessarily caused her death.
The woman's husband testified on Tuesday, an explained that his wife, a breast cancer survivor, was looking for a cure for a walking disability caused by her chemo. He was already a patient of Grekos, a cardiologist, and Dr. Grekos' mother was a friend of the couple.
When they found out about his stem cell procedures, they were hopeful it would help her get better. He testified that Dr. Grekos told them the worst that would happen is the procedure wouldn't work.
But afterwards, complications arose and the woman died.
The State Department of Health is looking to prove that the procedure Grekos performed in 2010 violated the standard of care, was not medically necessary, that he didn't have informed consent from the patient and didn't maintain proper medical records.
Grekos greeted and thanked several supporters and former patients in the courtroom, some who will testify on how he helped them.
Joan Keeney never got stem cell treatment, but stand by her doctor. She says she wants her doctor back and won't see anyone else.
Bill Orr traveled from Chicago to support the doctor he says gave him the chance to walk after a stem cell treatment in 2010. He says he owes his life to Dr. Grekos.
There are about a dozen witnesses in the case, one of the patient's former doctors testified this morning. The hearing is expected to last four days and it is unclear whether Dr. Grekos will testify himself. After the hearing wraps up, both sides will get transcripts of the proceedings. Then, they'll each make a recommendation to the judge, who will then have 30 days to make a recommendation to the Board of Medicine. That may not happen until the new year.