Melbourne – A young girl has been left disfigured and had her life torn apart by a Melbourne hospital’s negligence, a court has heard.
Nine-month-old Venice Kowalczyk had both feet, one hand and parts of three fingers amputated as a result of complications from the blood disease meningococcal septicaemia, which she suffered in July 2004.
Her family is suing the Royal Children’s Hospital on her behalf for compensation, alleging staff failed to properly treat Venice when she first presented with symptoms of the disease. Venice’s mother Nadia Kowalczyk told the trial her daughter was given painkillers and sent home without being tested for the disease, in breach of the hospital’s own guidelines.
The child had a high temperature, was crying constantly, had vomited and was refusing all fluids, the Victorian Supreme Court heard on Monday.
Her father Danny Kowalczyk had asked doctors if they could test for meningococcal disease but was told, `I don’t think it’s that serious,’ Mrs Kowalczyk said.
Twelve hours later, Venice had diarrhoea and a rash had appeared on her left hand, so her parents rushed her back to hospital, where she stopped breathing.
She subsequently spent five days fighting for life in intensive care and a further 10 weeks in hospital.
Now aged nine and a half, Venice walks with prosthetic legs and will need special care for the rest of her life, the court heard.
David Curtain, QC, for the family, urged the jury to find the hospital had been negligent and should pay heavily.
“Venice has had her life torn apart and you will be asked to award very significant damages,” he said in his opening remarks.
The trial continues before Justice David Beach.-YahooNews