Angel L.’s Story, Describing Her Son’s Birth Injury
Full Name Withheld For Confidentiality
When I went to the hospital on December 27, I knew I was in labor. I had already had a false alarm earlier in the month where I thought I was having contractions, but they sent me home after they monitored my baby boy for a while and decided it wasn’t time yet. When the first real contraction hit, though, I knew it couldn’t have been anything else. It was my due date, and I was anxious and excited to give birth to my first child. What happened at the hospital was not exciting, though. It was over nine hours of pain and fear that led to my boy being born in distress and suffering from several preventable illnesses that still affect him today.
I got checked in and settled into my hospital room at about 7:00 that evening. The doctor who delivered me was the on-call person at the time, and not the doctor I had spent the last nine months with discussing my birth and planning how I wanted things to go, and that threw me off at first. They had hooked me up to a bunch of monitors and wires, and my contractions were happing regularly. At first the nurses kept looking at the screens around me and taking notes like everything was fine, but after a while they started having trouble with the machines. One nurse kept asking me to roll over on my side and move this way and that while they put medicine in my IV every so often. I remember at one point the nurse called for help because the heart monitor on my baby wasn’t working and she couldn’t figure it out.
After what felt like forever but was only actually about six hours of this, they broke my water for me and my doctor had them put a long tube on my baby’s head to get a better reading on his heart rate, because the external machine just kept messing up. What they found obviously scared them, because they stuck an oxygen mask on my face and sent me to the operating room for a C-section. We hadn’t planned a surgery delivery, so I was really worried about my baby at this point. I got into the surgery room at like 2 or 2:30 in the morning and they gave me an epidural and told me to start pushing. My baby was born the natural way at 4:28 in the morning, and I can remember being so scared when they rushed him away after he came out. He didn’t start crying and wriggling around like I thought he would, and I remember being really confused by this.
It turns out he wasn’t crying and moving because he had been oxygen deprived during the delivery. They rushed him to the intensive care unit and started treating him for respiratory distress and seizures. He was transferred to a children’s hospital the next morning where he stayed in the NICU for the next few days. He was eventually discharged almost a month later with a hypoxic-ischemic brain injury and seizures. I just felt like it was so unfair that my baby had to spend the first few weeks of his life in the hospital instead of at home with me. I remembered all the nurses fussing over the machinery and understood that something had gone way wrong during labor. These feelings led me to do some online research, where I came across Mr. Driscoll’s website and decided to reach out to him for help.
My happy boy is turning three years old this year, and honestly neither of us would have gotten this far without the help of my lawyer. He had to have so many procedures and treatments those first few weeks of his life, and there has been so much medicine and so many doctors visits ever since. It seems so obvious to me and my family that the hospital was responsible for what happened to my baby, because their machines weren’t working right and the doctor made some bad choices. But I could never have explained the situation as well as Mr. Driscoll did. He went to the hospital review board and made my case to them in such a clear and effective way. Mr. Driscoll did a wonderful thing for me and my family, and I don’t want to think about where we’d be without his help.