P.E.I. parents blame ER doctors for baby's brain damage
The parents of a little girl who has severe brain damage are suing four Charlottetown doctors and the Prince Edward Island government.
They claim their daughter Emma received inadequate and inconsistent care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in January 2011.
“Like any first-time mother, when my baby daughter got a fever for the first time, I was afraid,” says Melissa Driscoll. “I wasn’t taking any chances so I took her to the emergency room. Then I took her back again. Then I took her back again.”
Driscoll had a difficult time containing her emotions as a news conference as she recounted when Emma first became ill in January 2011.
“Since that terrifying moment my family has been living a nightmare from which it will never wake up,” she says.
Driscoll and the baby’s father, Danny Roach, brought her to the news conference today to talk about the lawsuit against the provincial government and four emergency room doctors.
They allege Dr. Kate Ellis Ghiz – the wife of Premier Robert Ghiz - Dr. Pauline Champion, Dr. Peter Noonan and Dr. Mitchell Zelman provided inadequate treatment.
“A series of mistakes and a series of negligence, including the equipment we say was malfunctioning, was not able to be used in an urgent manner,” says lawyer Raymond Wagner.
In 2011, eight-month-old Emma had a cough and her parents were worried about her breathing. They took her to the hospital in Charlottetown where she was given medication and then sent home.
But then, according to her parents, Emma’s condition worsened and they returned to the hospital two more times within the next 24 hours.
“Within minutes of being there she went completely blue,” says Driscoll. “If we hadn’t brought her back she would have died at home.”
Emma was flown to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax but today she cannot eat on her own and is completely dependant on her parents - a condition they say was caused by the care she received.
“Part of my baby died on Feb. 1, 2011 and a big part of me died as well,” says Driscoll.
CTV News received a statement from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, saying the matter is being dealt with through its private insurer and its legal council, and that there would be no further comment.
None of the allegations has been proven in court. The family’s lawyer is calling for a quick resolution so Emma’s parents can focus solely on her care.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jonathan MacInnis