Pharmacist Robert Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs.
Many criminals have been featured on American Greed, since the first show was telecast in 2007, but pharmacist Robert Courtney took greed to a whole new level.
Courtney diluted chemotherapy drugs, so he could make even more money, by selling them to doctors in watered down form. The American Greed narrator last night said that Courtney would buy chemotherapy drugs in powder form, for $500 for the medicine, and would then sell the drugs to doctors for $1,000. However, by diluting the drugs he was able to sell the doctors three diluted preparations for $3,000, which gave him a profit of $2,500, after he had originally spent $500 to buy the drugs.
The cancer patients were wondering why they weren’t having many side effects, from their chemotherapy medicine. It was because they were only receiving a third or even less, of their chemotherapy medicine. One man who didn’t experience the normal hair loss, after his chemotherapy sessions later would find out, that his cancer was spreading, to other parts of his body, because he hadn’t been given enough chemotherapy medicine.
Georgia Hayes, who was a victim of the watered down chemotherapy medicine sued Robert Courtney, because of his unethical behavior. She received a $2.2 billion judgement, but it is unlikely, that she actually received any money. However, she evidently never saw any money from the judgement. Her daughter appeared at the trial and said she wanted her mom to be there, when she graduated and was married, but her mom died before any of that happened.
Courtney was active in the Assembly of God Church in Kansas City and was a deacon and sang in the choir.
The diluted drugs were making Courtney a rich man and he had assets of $18.7 million. Investigators asked him why he did it, and he said he had promised the church $1 million, for a building project, but that made no sense, since he had 18 times that amount in his assets at the time.
These are the horrifying statistics from his criminal activity:
98,000 diluted prescriptions
72 different drugs were diluted
Courtney pled guilty to 20 counts of tampering and adulterating chemical therapy drugs.He was sentenced to 30 years in 2002 and will be released in 2032 at the age of 80 years old.
The sentence didn’t fit the crime, since no telling how many patients died, who were given less than the required amount of chemotherapy medicine.
There was very little remorse coming from Courtney, except when he mentioned one patient by name saying that was the only one, that really hurt him, since the guy was a nice guy.
Courtney was so absorbed in building his bank account, that he forgot or didn’t care about the patients, that were taking longer to recover from their chemotherapy, because he had diluted their drugs.
The FBI agents who investigated the criminal activity of Courtney were sometimes moved to tears, after talking to patients, who thought they were getting the required amount of chemotherapy medicine in their IV bags.
He should have been sentenced to life, since so many of the patients he affected died because of his negligence.
American Greed features criminals mostly who took the money of investors, but Courtney wasn’t taking the money of investors, but was risking the health of cancer patients, who had pinned their hopes of recovery, on their chemotherapy medicine, for his own financial gain.
The St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was founded in 1962 by actor/philanthropist Danny Thomas. He promised St. Jude Thaddeus that he would build a shrine to St. Jude, if he would help him support his family financially.
He was able to amass a fortune and kept his promise and the shrine he built for St. Jude was St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which Thomas founded in 1962.
Roman Catholic Cardinal Samuel Stritch of Tennessee suggested, that Thomas build the hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. 52 years later the hospital has played a part in saving the lives of many children, who may have died without the medical care provided at St. Jude.
The Chili’s restaurant chain donated $50 million toward the construction of the Chili’s Care Center in 2007, which added 24 labs and 16 beds to the campus.
Sterling Jewelers opened a lounge area named Kay Kafe. It has become a place where families and staff can relax, when the children were not undergoing treatments.
Marlo Thomas, the daughter of Thomas is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude. His son Tony is also very involved in the administration of St. Jude.
Families of the patients only pay what is covered by insurance and no family without insurance is turned down for treatment. Patients are also provided with a place to stay, while the children undergo treatments, to lessen the financial burden for families.
Many corporations like CVS/pharmacy, Dollar General and Kay Jewelers assist in finances for the hospital, in addition to too many others to name them all.
Wikipedia tells about a million dollar winner of the McDonald’s Monopoly game donating their winning card to St Jude:
In 1995, St. Jude received an anonymous letter postmarked in Dallas, Texas, containing a $1 million winning McDonald’s Monopoly game piece. McDonald’s officials came to the hospital, accompanied by a representative from the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, who examined the card under a jeweler’s eyepiece, handled it with plastic gloves, and verified it as a winner. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald’s waived the rule and has made the annual $50,000 annuity payments, even after learning that the piece was sent by an individual involved in an embezzlement scheme intended to defraud McDonald’s.
Danny Thomas along with Jerry Lewis are the best known celebrities, who have shared their fortune and time, to help less than fortunate children, who are battling health problems at a time, when they should be out playing, with the other kids in their neighborhood.
Thomas was born as,Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz in Deerfield, Michigan on January 6, 1912. He would later change his name to Amos Jacobs, then later to Danny Thomas.
He would make his radio debut on March 5, 1944 on the Radio Hall of Fame program. He could be heard in 61 episodes of radio programs from 1944 to 1983.
His daughter, Marlo Thomas went on to have her own acting career and was best known for her series That Girl (1966-1971). Actress Loretta Young was the godmother of Marlo, who also became very involved with the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and can be seen on commercials for St. Jude today.
Thomas was a standup comedian and also acted in movies and television. His first movie appearance was in The Unfinished Dancewhich was released in 1947, when Thomas was 35 years old. He became a major star, his show Make Room For Daddydebuted in 1953 and would be on network television till 1964.
He would make his last appearance as an actor in the Empty Nestin 1991, which was the same year as his death.
Thomas was a producer or executive producer in many well-known television series, which included Andy Griffith, Real McCoys, Joey Bishop Show, Dick Van Dyke, Rango, Guns of Will Sonnettand Mod Squad.
He was a founding minority owner in the Miami Dolphins professional football team.
His only marriage was to Rose Marie Mantell in 1936 and they remained married till his death 55 years later in 1991.
Mary Tyler Moore was chosen by Thomas to co-star in Dick Van Dyke show.
This quote by Thomas personifies the way he lived his life “Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
Danny Thomas died of heart failure on February 6, 1991 in Los Angeles, California. He and his wife both were buried on the grounds of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Most of us will remember Danny Thomas portraying Danny Williams on the Danny Thomas Show, but his most lasting contribution was the founding, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There are a lot of children laughing and playing today in their homes, because Danny Thomas cared enough to build a hospital, that treated their cancer and best of all never turned anyone down, because they didn’t have money to pay, after the insurance had paid their portion or had no insurance at all.
If only more of us could leave a legacy like Danny Thomas, who may have died 23 years ago, but his promise to build a shrine, which turned out to be the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has brought hope to families, who had no hope by providing a hospital for their children, where they can be treated for cancer.
Thank you Danny for caring about the children with cancer.
Netflix includes classic television, among their many television shows of the past and present, being presented on their service. My favorite shows to watch on Netflix are Columbo, The Rockford Files, Adam 12, Leave It To Beaver, Twilight Zone, Andy Griffith and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The best aspect of watching the shows on Netflix is that you don’t have to watch any commercials.
Classic Television Networks
There are some classic television networks on cable television, but satellite providers don’t seem, to be interested in including the networks on their systems. TV Land which is seen on most satellite systems used to feature more classic television shows, than they do now, since they are starting to create their own programming on TV Land.
Antenna Classic Television Services
Last weekend we moved our antenna, to another position and picked up Me TV and Cozi TV, which both feature classic television shows.
Me TV has one of the best lineups of classic television shows I have seen. Me TV has been on the air since December 15, 2010 and shows some of the harder to find programs, that are featured on their network, like Dobie Gillis, The Untouchables, the original Hawaii Five O and Ironside, which to me are far better than the current versions seen on network television today.
Route 66 and My Three Sons fans will be glad to know they can still watch these shows today.
This is the complete list of classic television shows on Me TV today:
I still remember coming home from summer school and watching the Burns and Allen show, during the noon hour, on our local television station KALB -TV, which was located in Alexandria, Louisiana. The show starred the comedy team of George Allen and Gracie Allen. It was fun watching Gracie come up with such great lines, in the comedy scenes. It is great to know the shows can still be watched 63 years later in 2013. This may be one of the oldest shows still being seen today. Antenna TV was launched nationally on January 1, 2011.
To see a list of classic television shows on Antenna TV:
Retro TV features show like The Real McCoys, which starred Walter Brennan, as the cantankerous Grandpa Amos McCoy and his grandson Luke who was portrayed, by Richard Crenna who had appeared as Walter Denton in the TV version of Our Miss Brooks.
Other shows featured on Retro TV include Circus Boy, which featured a young Mickey Dolenz, who would later gain fame as a member of the Monkees. Highway to Heaven, Soupy Sales, Mr. Magoo, Naked City and Route 66 also can be seen today on Retro TV. Retro TV was launched nationally in 2005.
If you live sort of close to a bigger city, then you can probably pick up one or more of these channels on an outside antenna, or maybe even a stronger inside antenna.
Watching these shows from my childhood in the 50’s and 60’s brings back memories, of a simpler time when you could watch television, without all the double entendres and violence found on network television today. So if you are longing for the good old days of classic television, then a simple turn of your antenna may bring back the shows of your youth.
It is hard to believe that 50 years have passed since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on Friday, November 22, 1963. It is ironic that November 22 of 2013 also fell on a Friday.
My day started like any other day at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I was subbing for the regular company postal clerk, who had taken leave to New York. I happened to have my transistor radio playing that morning, when I heard a news flash saying that President Kennedy had been shot. I immediately told the commanding officer and then shortly after heard that President Kennedy was dead.
Air Force One touched down at Love Field in Dallas at 11:40 PM CST and President Kennedy and his wife Jackie were greeted enthusiastically at the airport. The motorcade cars were lined up at the airport, but the motorcade started late because of the late arrival of Air Force One.
President Kennedy was slated to make a speech at the Dallas Trade Mart at 12:15 PM, but the motorcade didn’t enter Dealey Plaza till 12:29 PM. The first shot hit President Kennedy at 12:30 PM and chaos ensued in Dealey Plaza as those there to see the motorcade ran to safety or fell to the ground to protect their children from the gunfire.
Jacqueline Kennedy started crawling on the back of the limousine, after literally holding her husband’s brains in her hands.
Governor Connally was also seriously wounded, by what some would say was the same bullet that hit President Kennedy. The bullet entered Connally’s back, hit his ribs and exited through his chest and his right arm’s wrist bone was shattered into seven parts, plus he had an entry wound in his left thigh.
James Tague, a bystander was hit by a ricocheting fragment of a bullet in the right cheek.
12:33 PM -Lee Harvey Oswald, who was later charged with the assassination of President Kennedy was seen in the second floor lunchroom about 90 seconds after the shots were fired, from the sixth floor window, of the Texas School Book Building. Oswald was questioned by Dallas motorcycle policeman Marion Baker,in the lunchroom and said Oswald showed no sign of being under duress or breathing heavily.
1236 PM – The first national network to broadcast the news of the assassination was ABC radio. when Don Gardiner announced, that three shots had been fired at the presidential motorcade.
12:38 PM – The presidential limousine bearing President Kennedy arrives at Parkland Hospital. We can only imagine the chaos there, as the physicians and nurses scrambled, to see if they could save the life of the president.
12:40 PM – CBS is the first television network to report the assassination.
1:00 PM – Lee Harvey Oswald arrived at his boarding room and left again soon after.
1:00 PM – President Kennedy was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital and spokesman said that there was never a chance of saving his life.
1:15 PM – Officer J.D. Tippit is gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald, according to witnesses at the scene, which was only 0.86 miles from Oswald’s boarding room.
1:33 PM – White House Press Secretary Malcolm Kilduff makes the official announcement of the death of President Kennedy.
1:35 PM – Johnny Brewer, the manager of a shoe stores sees Lee Harvey Oswald heading toward the Texas Theater.
1:40 PM – Brewer notices that Oswald entered theater, without paying and notified Julie Postal the clerk, who then called the Dallas police.
1:50 PM – Oswald is arrested by Dallas police, after attempting to shoot a policeman and punching one inside the Texas Theater.
2:00 PM – The body of President Kennedy is driven to Air Force One after a confrontation, between Secret Service agents and Dallas authorities, who wanted to perform an autopsy, before releasing the body of President Kennedy.
2:38 PM – Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in by Sarah T. Hughes,as the 36th President of the United States aboard Air Force One.
500 PM – Air Force One arrives at Andrew Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., with the body of President Kennedy and with President Johnson as the new president.
7:05 PM – Lee Harvey Oswald is charged with the murder of Officer J.D.Tippit.
11:26 PM – Lee Harvey Oswald is charged with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
That ended a day in which President Kennedy was assassinated and Governor Connally was seriously wounded, James Tague a bystander was injured and Officer J.D. Tippit was murdered.
A day which had started out so well with the adoring crowds welcoming President Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline ended in tragedy. The day was to have ended with the noon speech at the Trade Mart, a speech in Austin and a weekend with Vice President Johnson at his ranch. Instead the day ended with President Johnson in the White House and the Kennedy presidency had come to an end.
Marilyn Monroe Could Have Saved JFK’s Life
It was only 15 months before when Marilyn Monroe threatened to expose the Kennedys. She was planning to expose the Kennedys and tell of the philandering ways of both President Kennedy and his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
If she hadn’t found dead due to an overdose of pills she would have told, of the philandering ways of President Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy.
If she had been allowed to tell the truth,about the Kennedy brothers there would have been no Dallas visit by President Kennedy, who almost certainly would have been removed from office and no presidential campaign in 1968 by brother Bobby,who also would have been out of politics, as early as 1962 or 1963.
However, Marilyn Monroe died a mysterious death and her death may have kept the Kennedy brothers secrets safe from political death, but in the end may have cost both of them their lives.
Jackie’s Pink Suit
The pink suit that Jackie Kennedy wore during the assassination won’t be seen by the public, for another 90 years and by the time it is seen it will be 140 years after the assassination. By 2103, when it is made public there will be few that lived in the 1900’s that will still be around to see it.
More importantly it is time to release all records, that have anything to do with the Kennedy assassination. 50 years is long enough to hold onto the assassination documents, since most people who were 50 in 1963 would now be 100, if they are fortunate enough to be alive.
This time last year I was in the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, Texas. First, let me go back in time to some of the events that may have led to me having duodenal cancer.
May of 2012 was a traumatic time for us, after being evicted from our house in Sulphur, Louisiana. We then moved to DeRidder, Louisiana on July 20 and it took almost two weeks to move our belongings to a trailer. I think the eviction and move took a toll on me emotionally and physically. I truly feel that financial stress played a part, in me acquiring cancer last summer.
I began to lose an alarming number of pounds in July and would have lost 45 pounds by the time I entered the VA Hospital in Houston in October. I vomited 17 times in a two-day period, which contained blood. I went to the VA Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana and they thought at first that I had acid reflux, peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers and H pylori. I was sent home with various prescriptions that didn’t control the vomiting.
Finally on September 28 of 2012 I was admitted into the VA Hospital in Pineville and the next day September 29 they transported me via ambulance to the VA Hospital in Houston.
One of the first things they did in Houston was insert a tube down my throat and connected it to a container that received the contents of my stomach continuously to prevent any more vomiting. The inserting of the tube was one of the most stressful medical procedures done, while in the hospital and very uncomfortable having a tube, but it did prevent any further vomiting.
It took almost two weeks before the oncologist determined that I had duodenal cancer, after unsuccessful CT scan which was too cloudy because of a recent CT scan at the Pineville VA Hospital. Then the doctors tried an endoscopy, which didn’t work, since it the instrument wasn’t long enough to reach the blockage, which they were trying to biopsy.
The oncologist still could not get a biopsy, so they tried another endoscopy that reached the blockage and then prescribed a Petscan to get a better look at the blockage. After these two procedures they determined that I did have duodenal cancer, a cancer that is in beginning section of small intestines. It is also referred to as adenocarcinoma.
The Petscan was a unique experience. For 45 minutes they started and stopped the scan. I had the sensation of being on a train. The only thing missing was that no conductor was saying “All aboard”.
My birthday was on October 14, which was two days before the surgery. My wife Rhonda had made a Happy Birthday poster for the door of my room and my daughter, her husband and two grandchildren were there to celebrate. My two sons, who had already arrived a few days earlier were also there, along with my ex-wife who came with my daughter.
I still have the poster that Rhonda made in our bedroom and it has a lot of sentimental value. Rhonda had to sleep in a chair the first few days, that I was in the hospital. She found out later there was a place called Fisher House on the grounds, so she could have a place to eat and sleep during the night.
One of my brothers also made two or three visits to the hospital, while I was there and his ex-wife and my niece also made visits to see me.
I will never forget the day of the surgery, which was Tuesday, October 16, 2012. I was rolled into a hall where patients were lined up for surgery. I recall the nurses were asking about a patient who didn’t show up for surgery, because he tired of waiting for the surgery and had left the hospital.
Once I entered the surgery room the anesthesiologist began sticking with me with needles which were very painful and I was surprised how many times I was stuck and awake to feel the pain. I could hear the surgery room nurses make clanging sounds similar to the sounds of pots and pans being put on tables.
The next thing I knew it was 11 hours later and my surgery which was supposed to have taken 5 or 6 hours had lasted 11 hours, because I had been nicked in the liver and it caused massive bleeding, which required four units of blood to replace the lost blood. The surgeon told Rhonda that they were close to losing me, so I am very fortunate to even be writing about the surgery.
I remember being in a very strange room, after the surgery which I assume was the ICU. It seemed like it was very dark in the room and I almost felt like they had sent me to a secluded cabin to recover from the surgery. I still can’t remember much about this phase in my recovery.
One of the results from the surgery was the finding that I had Stage III duodenal cancer. Duodenal cancer is extremely rare and only accounts for 1 percent of gastrointestinal cancers.
At some point before or after the surgery I had a picc line inserted in my arm, so the nurses wouldn’t have to give me so many injections.
However, I still had blood work done every morning at about 5AM. I had insulin shots in my stomach at least once a day, even though I was and am not now diabetic.
One thing I remember is watching the 2012 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants. I tried to watch all of the games, but would sometimes fall asleep during the games.
About a week after the surgery I was finally allowed to eat real food, for the first time since arriving at the hospital three weeks earlier. However, my appetite was not that great and would only eat part of the food most of the time.
It was great to have the tube removed from my throat, even though it was uncomfortable feeling for it to come out. Needless to say I talked differently while having the tube in my throat, so was happy to talk normally again.
It was Halloween night (October 31) when I was finally released from the hospital. The day started off well as I started being readied for release, but I waited a very long time for the Picc line to be removed. The technician came in the room and had me in more of upside down and sideways position, so that he could remove the Picc line.
My high number on the blood pressure reading was 181, when I was finally released late that night. Blood pressure was a serious problem in the hospital, since it spiked to about 220 at one point, so I was given blood pressure medication and wore a blood pressure patch to bring it down.
Immediately after being released I stayed with Rhonda at the Fisher House that night, to prevent traveling immediately after being released.
We made the 160 mile trip back to DeRidder the next day and began the long road to recovery. I was feeling a little better each day and felt much better, when we made a visit to the VA Hospital in Houston in November, to see the oncologist for a checkup. He told us that duodenal cancer has a history of returning, which sort of caught me by surprise.
We drove home on Thanksgiving morning and we were slowed by a massive traffic jam before we arrived at my daughter’s home in Groves, Texas. When we arrived there they told us, that many cars had hit each other in the fog on Interstate 10, so we were fortunate to miss the accident, but were detoured so we never saw the scene of the accident.
I started 91 days of chemotherapy after returning home at the VA Hospital in Pineville. There is no chemotherapy for duodenal cancer, because it is so rare, so was treated as if I had colon cancer.
When I told the doctor I read that there was only a 30 percent chance of surviving duodenal cancer he told me not to worry, since my life expectancy was only 76 since I was a male. I relaxed after that figuring what is two years less or more, since I will be 69 this week.
The chemotherapy had many bad side effects, with sensitive to cold, jaw pain when chewing foods, unsteady on my feet and the oncologist in Pineville switched me to another form of chemotherapy.
It wasn’t much better as it caused another set of problems, so my chemotherapy was stopped 91 days into the 5 month treatments. The oncologist told me my quality of life was being affected too adversely by the chemotherapy. I was relieved to not have to make the weekly trips to Pineville for the chemotherapy treatments and I started feeling better after the treatments stopped with the side effects no longer a problem.
CT Scan in May in Houston
We went to see the oncologist/surgeon at Houston VA Hospital last May. The first day there we underwent another CT scan and did bloodwork. Then the next day we talked to the surgeon and he said everything looked good on the scan and it was clear. However, he said he was concerned that when he lifted the cancerous blockage off the liver, that some cancer may have seeped into the liver and may sprout up at a later date.
Our next CT scan is scheduled on December 11. Hopefully, the scan will be clear and if not will know it is God’s will being done, so not overly worried about the results.
I want to thank all the doctors and nurses at VA Hospital in Pineville and Houston for their excellent care. I want to thank all the family members and friends who visited me at the hospital in Houston and those who stayed with me in the hospital, after Rhonda began staying at the Fisher House.
I would like to also thank those who called my room during my stay in Houston. Those phone calls meant more to me, than you will ever know.
In addition I would like to think those who sent gift cards or checks, to help pay for Rhonda’s food and expenses, plus help pay our bills, while staying in Houston.
Plus I would like to thank those who contributed to the cancer fund my son started, in conjunction with his bicycle tour starting this week in Kansas City, Missouri.
My goal is to keep a positive attitude regardless of what the results of the scan show, in December and to continue to sing and praise the Lord.
Dr. Jennifer Arnold had problems conceiving a baby on her own and then they tried having a surrogate mother for their child. That didn’t work either when the surrogate mother suffered a miscarriage. Now Dr. Arnold and her husband Bill Klein have adopted a three year-old boy from China named William.
The parents who star on TLC’s Little Couple series had wanted a child with dwarfism and this child is a dwarf like them.
The show was last seen on May 15, 2012 and will be returning for a sixth season, almost a year later when they return to TLC, for a new season on April 30.
Little Couple has been one of the most drama-free reality shows, since Jen and Bill get along so well. They have to be the most likeable reality stars on television today.
They both apparently make a very good living as Dr. Arnold is a doctor working as a neonatologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas. Bill owns a sales, training and telecommunication business.
When the new season starts on April 30 we should see some shows about the adoption process and how they are settling into their new home in Houston, plus they have a pet shop in Houston.
This couple has been through a lot in recent seasons, when they hoped Jen would be able to conceive a baby on her own. When that didn’t work they went the surrogacy route and that also failed, so it will be good to see them with their new adopted child in Season 6.