Dylan Wallace with mother Helen.
Dylan Wallace with mother Helen.

Family fights for son's future

EARLIER this week legal proceedings for a $10 million case were issued in the Supreme Court of Queensland.

In court documents obtained by the Daily News the Stanthorpe Hospital is accused of negligence including failing to monitor Dylan Wallace’s heart rate for almost two hours, failing to investigate changes in a CTG and failing to act in response to changes in a CTG, during his birth six years ago.

Medical negligence law firm Maurice Blackburn senior associate Vicki Holmes said it is alleged hospital staff who managed Dylan’s birth did not act on signs of his distress.

“For at least an hour preceding his birth, Dylan was starved of oxygen to his brain and as consequence of the events during his birth, he has cerebral palsy,” she said.

Ms Holmes said Dylan cannot move independently or speak and is fed through a tube into his stomach.

“He requires assistance with all activities of daily living and will never be able to work, even in a sheltered environment,” she said.

“The family would prefer to settle this matter out-of-court, but there are significant differences of opinion about Dylan’s life expectancy and the damages payment that he is entitled to receive.”

The court document says Dylan has a life expectancy of 48.8 years and Ms Homes said the high level of care he will require over his lifetime – including housing and transport modifications, respite care, medical care, equipment, therapy and loss of income – has been taken into account.

“Dylan’s family want to secure his financial future and ensure that he can have a good quality of life,” she said,

“We argue that Dylan will live well into adulthood with good quality care, but this is disputed by the State of Queensland.”

She said Dylan requires around-the-clock care and the family needs financial assistance to deal with the long term needs associated with his disabilities.

The statement of claim issued to the court includes $4,379,416.85 for future attendant care and assistance expenses and $874,124.49 for future economic loss.

Darling Downs Health Service District acting chief executive officer Dr Peter Bristow said Queensland Health was unable to comment on the matter because of the ongoing legal action.

“Queensland Health takes patient safety very seriously and in recent times, there have been significant, changes and improvements in patient safety and quality systems and processes throughout Queensland Health,” Dr Bristow said.



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