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Medical malpractice: Delayed diagnosis leads to paralysis

For most parents in New York, a cancer diagnosis for their young child is one of their worst nightmares. This experience may be especially difficult in situations where a delay in diagnosis significantly reduces the child's overall quality of life. Unfortunately, a recent medical malpractice lawsuit claims that such a situation has left a young girl in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

The girls' parents claim that she became ill in Feb. 2014 when she was 6 years old. Her parents took her to an urgent care facility and her pediatrician; they were given a diagnosis of severe constipation at both places. However, her parents claim that the girl's condition did not improve; in fact, her stomach became so distended that she looked pregnant.

Four days later, she was diagnosed with acute leukemia. She was hospitalized and treatment began; her parents claim that they could see an immediate improvement. While she ultimately recovered from cancer, the delayed diagnosis caused lifelong issues. Leukemia cells apparently blocked the blood flow from the girl's spine to her lower legs, resulting in paralysis.

She is expected to be in a wheelchair her entire life. Her mother claims that they had to move in order to have access to skilled medical care providers. Recently, a medical malpractice lawsuit filed as a result of the delayed diagnosis was settled for $1.9 million -- a settlement that her parents claim will provide a van with a lift as well as a lift to help her into her bed and into a bathtub. In some cases, families in New York and other areas of the country have no other option than to seek justice in a civil court; if it can be proved that the appropriate standard of care was not provided, a family could receive a monetary award to help them cope with the financial losses stemming from such negligence.

Source:, "Misdiagnosis leads to paralysis, $1.9 million settlement for Maine girl", Judy Harrison, June 20, 2017

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