A woman who fell victim to medical negligence during the delivery of her baby has disclosed that the boy is scheduled to undergo another surgery which would cost about $20,000.
This, she said, does not include the travelling and other incidental costs.
“We’re to go for a second surgery at Johns Hopkins in America. And it’s going to take about $20,000 or so. So we’re praying to God, and we’re gathering our funds to see what the doctors can do to help him to use his right hand.
“He doesn’t feel hot surfaces. So we’re moving through it. Step by step. A day at a time,” Joyce, mother of the boy, said this on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Friday.
The situation resulted from complications related to gestational diabetes when she was pregnant. This made the fetus macrosomic. In addition, due to poor medical treatment, the baby suffered Klumpke’s palsy – a paralysis of the arm due to an injury to the network of spinal nerves, which resulted from a difficult delivery.
She and her lawyer, Emmanuel Darkwa, sued for medical negligence. The court fined Sam-J Specialist Hospital in Accra ¢326,456 for medical negligence that led to the paralysis of her baby in the right arm.
After winning her case in court against Sam-J Specialist Hospital, the mother of 4-year-old Papa says life has been challenging in taking care of him.
She explained that due to the degree of damage caused, her son had to undergo surgery in India.
“We went to India to have surgery for him, for the nerve reconstruction. So he’s seeing a line. They took a nerve from his right leg. So there’s a line from the top of the leg to the ankle. So he’d ask, what line is this? So I tell him, Papa, I’ll tell you later. I’ll tell you later. It’s nothing.”
She noted that it hasn’t been an easy journey handling him and that due to her son’s condition, her eyes have to be on him 24/7 to avoid any mishappenings.
“I keep on telling him that you’re handsome. So I call him my engineer. And that when you grow up, you’d be an engineer. But when he’s unable to use his right hand to do something, he feels so frustrated. So I’m always around him. And the elder sister thinks I love him more than I love her. And that is not so.”
Sharing some daily challenges on the Show, Joyce said she tries to encourage him to use his right hand to serve himself breakfast, but he bursts into tears when he’s unable to do so.
“Because he can’t support the bowl with the right hand, the bowl can tip-off from the table. So I’m always with him. My eyes are always on him.”
Joyce said to ensure that Papa is given the appropriate attention and care, “I’m in contact with the teacher every morning; I echo into them that their eyes should be on him. So the teacher is my friend. By the Grace of God, since he went to school and now, I’ve not had any challenge. They’re taking very good care of him in school.”
Even though this is a challenge she’d have to deal with for a long time to come, Joyce said she doesn’t want to be too hard on herself.
She said this experience has taught her to be very careful.
“It has happened already, and there’s nothing I can do. Moving forward, I have to be very careful. Especially when I meet new mothers. First mothers. The hospital they go to and how they feel, and what the doctor tells them when they tell the doctor how they feel.
“You should stand up for your right. And if you think the doctor is not good, or not treating you the way you want, leave the facility and go to the facility, you’d be treated well,” she said.
In August this year, an Accra High (Commercial) Court fined Sam-J Specialist Hospital in Accra GH¢326,456 for medical negligence that led to the paralysis of a baby in the right arm.
The amount includes; the award of general damages of ¢200,000 and a cost of ¢20,000 against the hospital and its owner, Dr Amoo Mensah, a specialist obstetrician gynaecologist, who the court found to have negligently failed to live up to the professional medical standards in providing antenatal care to the plaintiff.
The court presided over by Justice Doreen G, Boakye-Agyei determined that although the plaintiffs (expectant mother and her husband) sought the services of the private health facility and its owner for the best medical treatment to deliver a healthy baby, “their expectations were dashed due to the inability of defendants adhere to their own ethical and professional standards,” leaving the child “handicapped for life.”
The court found that due to the poor medical treatment, the baby suffered Klumpke’s palsy– a paralysis of the arm due to an injury of the network of spinal nerves resulting from a difficult delivery.
Per the facts of the case, the couple, represented by their counsel, Mr Emmanuel Darkwa, indicated that in March 2017, they sought antenatal care from Sam-J Specialist Hospital, upon which the owner of the hospital, Dr Amoo Mensah, an obstetrician gynaecologist, was assigned to care for the pregnant wife.
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