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Client Story: Brain Trauma & Medical Negligence

As injury lawyers, we see firsthand the serious and traumatic injuries that our clients have suffered. When people ask us why we became lawyers, most already assume it’s for our own financial benefit. While there are lawyers out there who view clients as paychecks, we see them as individuals going through the worst times of their lives. We became lawyers to make a difference in the lives of those who cannot defend themselves against injustice. We became lawyers to serve our community and the people who need help in times of crisis. Although we cannot change what our clients are going through and have gone through, we can help them get aid to better their situation. This story of Anne* will hopefully help you to both identify your own experience of medical negligence and to better understand our reasons for pursuing this demanding profession.

Anne’s Courageous Story

Anne was 14 when she was rushed into the emergency room by her mother. She told the staff that she was experiencing “the worst (headache of) her life”. She was ushered into a patient room and put on an IV. Nurses proceeded to draw blood for sampling while Anne did her best to remain calm and collected. They soon released her without any diagnostic imaging. Anne returned a mere three days later with the same persistent complaints and double vision. Doctors performed a CT scan and revealed a ruptured right middle cerebral artery aneurysm. The doctors then decided to conduct a coiling procedure and left the base of the aneurysm open to cerebral blood flow and perfusion pressure. Anne was discharged without further vascular imaging or angiography. To complicate matters, post-operative tests, to ensure that the open portion of the aneurysm was not enlarging, were not performed in a timely manner. The medical staff discharged her without confirming success of the operation. This showed a lack of concern for her well-being and safety which led to further complications.

Anne once again returned to the hospital with a horrendous headache. She was left to wait for hours in the emergency wait room, without consideration to her recent aneurysm and surgery. Due to the staff’s negligence, Anne did not receive the urgent care required to stabilize her condition and the partially coiled aneurysm ruptured. This led to a massive hemorrhage that affected the right temporal and frontal lobes of her brain, ultimately cutting off the blood supply to her brain. Anne’s left side became paralyzed and comatose. She endured a craniectomy, hemicraniectomy[1], and duraplasty[2]. After lengthy rehab, she is still legally blind, and unable to use her left arm, hand, and wrist. She has limited use of her left leg and requires a brace as well as an electronic stimulation device to help her walk. She developed foot drop that required surgery and is on seizure medication for life. Due to her physical limitations and decreased cognitive ability, she can no longer participate in activities she previously enjoyed like playing on the softball team. She is unable to drive, use the oven, style her hair, or tie her shoes. Anne requires a constant companion, because if she falls, she cannot get up on her own. She is continually learning to adapt to her new life with a courageous spirit, but the negligent actions of the hospital staff changed her life forever.

Get Help Today

People like Anne inspire us every day. They are the reason we get up and go to work and press on even when cases are physically and emotionally draining. We may not be able to change what happened to Anne, but we could at least help her and her family afford the lifetime of care she requires. If you have had a similar experience to Anne’s, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will do all that we can to help you in your time of need.

[1] Craniectomy and hemicraniectomy procedures are used to allow a swelling brain to expand and require a large portion of the skull to be removed.

[2] Duraplasty procedures open the dura (a thick membrane that protects the central nervous system) and enlarged it with a patch.

*Names have been changed.

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