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Experimental surgeries leave 6-year-old with brain damage

He's just 6 years old, but he faces some of the toughest obstacles anyone of any age can face in life. The boy lives with his family about 300 miles northwest of Covington in the Chicago area.

His family recently settled a medical malpractice lawsuit for $30 million against a doctor and a medical center where 25 surgeries were performed on the boy. Some of the procedures were "risky, novel operations," the suit stated.

The boy was born late in 2009 with a leak in his esophagus, along with some other conditions that were also not life-threatening. His first surgery was conducted on the day after he was born that November. Less than a month later, he was being operated on again. Over the next 17 months, he underwent surgery two dozen times.

By the time the string of operations came to a halt, the young child had irreversible brain damage and cerebral palsy. He will require care for the rest of his life.

Administrators for the medical center said they settled the lawsuit in the best interests of the child and his family, and insisted that they take "pride in providing exceptional care."

Like everyone who reads of the story, we hope the settlement enables the family to provide not only the medical care this young boy needs today, but also will require throughout his life. While a medical malpractice settlement can't undo the damage done by negligent doctors or hospital staffs, it can help families cope with the injuries and provide the professional care victims need and deserve.


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