Family awarded $4m after negligence leaves son disabled

A FORMER Southern Downs family has been awarded almost $4 million after their son was left with severe disabilities arising from medical negligence during his birth at Stanthorpe Hospital almost a decade ago.

Helen and Sean Wallace launched the compensation claim against the Queensland Government in 2011, arguing their son Dylan suffered profound physical and intellectual disabilities because hospital staff acted negligently.

The family successfully claimed hospital staff failed to monitor Dylan's heart rate for almost two hours and failed to investigate, or respond to, cardiotocography changes during his birth on September 16, 2004.

Cardiotocography is used in pregnancy to monitor both the foetal heart as well as the contractions of the uterus.

As a result, the family claimed Dylan's brain was starved of oxygen for more than an hour which resulted in him being born with profound injuries and severe disabilities.

Justice Peter Applegarth found in favour of the family this month and awarded them $3,750,000 in compensation which must be held in trust until Dylan turns 18-years of age.

Brisbane Supreme Court documents reveal Dylan, who receives around-the-clock-care from his mother and specialists, suffers from cerebral palsy, spastic quadriplegia and a host of other debilitating ailments and disabilities.

The documents also detailed how Dylan will require long-term specialised care for the rest of his life, cannot move independently, cannot speak and is must be fed through a tube into his stomach.

Specialist medical reports tended to the court revealed he has a life expectancy of no more than 48.8 years.

The court found his injuries and disabilities were caused as a direct result of staff mismanaging his delivery at Stanthorpe Hospital.

His mother Helen, who now lives in Brisbane, was awarded a further $100,000 for past care, medical expenses as well as general expenses which were incurred.

The family originally sought $10 million compensation.