Son of former Silver Cross Hospital CEO files complaint against University of Chicago Hospital, doctor

A formal complaint has been filed against the University of Chicago and one of its doctors in connection to the death of former Silver Cross Hospital CEO, Ruth Colby.

Colby, 69, died last October following complications from a surgical procedure performed at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health Systems by Dr. Husam H. Balkhy last September.

Keith Hebeisen, partner at Clifford Law Offices filed a complaint Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, against the hospital and doctor for negligence in his attempt to repair her heart valve on Sept. 25, 2023.

The complaint alleges that the doctor recommended a minimally invasive robotic heart valve procedure.

Following the lengthy procedure, Colby was unable to transition off of bypass and suffered severe heart failure. She was transferred from the operating room to the intensive care unit in critical condition and died approximately three weeks later while still in the care of the defendants.

"Our expert report states that Ms. Colby underwent the wrong procedure which was negligently performed," Hebeisen said.  "We intend to get to the bottom of what happened because Ms. Colby did everything as she was advised and relied on this hospital and its doctor to properly treat her condition without her dying."

David Chodak, Colby’s son, is the plaintiff and the executor of her estate. She is also survived by her husband Donald DeFrank.

Colby had served as chief executive officer of Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for six years. She was mourned by the community as a "visionary leader."

The full complaint is attached below: