Ethel Easter secretly recorded a surgery staff during and after her recent hernia operation in a county hospital in Houston (video below).
"I was appalled," Easter told "Good Morning America" April 7. "I was distraught. I was violated. Thinking that I'm lying there naked after the surgery and they had me still uncovered, talking over my body like this."
Easter said that she knew something was amiss by the doctor's tone when she tried to schedule the surgery.
"I was like, 'Two months? I can’t last for two months, I can't do this for two months, I'm terminally ill right now, I'm very--' and he said 'Listen,' and he got very abrupt," Easter told Fox 26. "He said, 'Well, who do you think you are? You gonna have to wait just like everybody else.'"
Easter hid a recorder in her braid extensions and put her hair up to conceal the device from the surgery staff.
While Easter was put under during the surgery, some of the staff comments included:
"She's a handful. She had some choice words to us in the clinic when we didn’t book her case within two weeks ... Including 'I'm going to call a lawyer and file a complaint.'"
"That just doesn’t seem like the thing to say to the person that's going to do your surgery."
Easter alleges that the staff also mocked her body:
"Did you see that belly button?"
"Precious, yes. This is precious over here saying hi to precious over there."
Easter believes the "precious" remark was in reference to the black overweight teen girl in the 2009 film "Precious."
"It was racially profiling me, yes, I was offended by it," Easter told "Good Morning America."
Surgery staff members reportedly referred to Easter as “always the queen," prompting the surgeon to express mock sympathy for her husband.
"When I heard the comments on the tape and I listened to them I was shocked," Houston activist Quenelle X told Fox 26. "Because I had no idea that doctors, professional doctors, and anesthesiologists and nurses, would carry themselves in this manner in an operating room."
A spokesperson for Harris Health System, which oversees the hospital, refused to comment and cited patient confidentiality laws, even though Easter has publicly disclosed her name, her health problem and the surgery.
Harris Health System told Easter in a letter: "We have used this opportunity to remind the OR staff and physicians to be mindful of their comments at all times."
It's not clear why Harris Health System would refer to potentially racist remarks and ridicule as an "opportunity," but did say in the letter that it won't be taking any action against the staff.
Easter is considering a lawsuit.