Local Man Victim Of Mistaken Identity

"I've always suffered with high blood pressure and we went to do a test to see if there was a blockage in my kidneys. I went in the hospital," said Charles Connetti.

And that trip was the beginning of the end for the Connetti family.

Charles Connetti said his blood pressure was so high, he was having hallucinations, and so the doctor ordered an MRI - the result, a brain tumor.

"For someone to tell you that you're gonna die, it doesn't really sink in at first. You don't want to believe it," said Connetti.

The family prepared for the worst.

Charles soon went in for a biopsy, and came out a different man.

"I didn't know my name. I didn't know anything. I didn't recognize her," said Connetti.

"When somebody tells you biopsy, you think you know they're gonna make a little cut. They are gonna go in and take a little piece out. Well, when I seem husband in ICU, he had this big bandage around his head and I was looking at him and he was staring at the wall and all I could think about was my God what happened?" said Connetti's wife Carmen.

This is proof of what happened - the removal of what a New Orleans neurosurgeon later determined as a piece of a healthy brain.

"He said the good news is what was ever in your husband's head miraculously disappeared, the bad news is this MRI that they're looking at with this tumor on it belongs to another man," said Carmen Connetti.

Doctors had missed the names of the men on each of the MRI results.

Charles, who as a result now reads and writes on a child's level, is simply trying to live again.

"Make sure you check your own MRIs. If the doctor comes in to talk to you to tell you what's going on, I would demand to see the cat scan or the MRI that they are going by and to make sure so no one will ever have to go through this because it has been hell," said Carmen Connetti.

The other man involved in the mistake later died from cancer.

His case is expected to go to trial in 2005.