A Maine girl must now use a wheelchair for the rest of her life after pediatricians wrongfully diagnosed her with severe constipation, rather than the acute leukemia from which she was actually suffering. That was the claim made by the plaintiff in a Maine medical malpractice lawsuit against the practitioners and a walk-in clinic. That claim was recently settled with a $1.9 million settlement, which will be placed into a trust for the girl. Her parents told The Bangor Daily News they hope the settlement will help improve the quality of life for the girl, who will likely never walk again.
According to reports, the girl’s parents brought the six-year-old into a walk-in clinic on one February day in 2014. They knew she was very sick. Two doctors diagnosed her with severe constipation and assured her parents this issue would pass. However, her parents grew increasingly worried because their daughter’s fever did not subside, her stomach grew hard and distended, and her eyes were glazed over.
Concerned, her parents took her to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Four days after seeing the first pediatrician in the walk-in clinic, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of childhood cancer. Her parents say from the moment she began treatment at the larger facility, their daughter’s health began to improve drastically. However, the delay in her treatment initially resulted in leukemia cells blocking blood flow from the girl’s lower spine to her legs, rendering her paraplegic.