Issues of Concern with Karen’s Pregnancy:
• On May 9, Karen and I went to Mayo Clinic-Franciscan Skemp in La Crosse for Karen’s 20-week ultrasound. A nurse performed an initial ultrasound. She noted that there might be a hole in baby’s heart, but it is normal and usually heals up by the end of the pregnancy. When Dr. Carl Rose came in, he quickly took note of the fact that this was our eighth child. He also noted that a hole in the heart can be an indicator of Down Syndrome. He did not mention that the hole usually heals up. Dr. Rose said that if there was confirmed to be a hole in the heart and there was a risk of Down Syndrome, we would have to discuss how to move forward and what we would want to do. It seemed to us that he was suggesting that we should consider an abortion. We told him that, regardless of what may be wrong, we would definitely have the baby.
Dr. Rose followed-up our appointment by sending us a clinical article that spoke about fetal chromosomal abnormalities and Down syndrome. The article mentioned that “[t]ermination of affected pregnancies…plays a role.” It seemed to us that he thought that because we already had a large family, we should not be having another child, and he was suggesting that we should have an abortion.
Because of Dr. Rose’s suggestion of possible problems, we traveled to Mayo Clinic in Rochester for an echocardiogram. The echocardiogram showed that the baby’s heart was in fact fine. Dr. Rose’s hunch was incorrect.
• On Friday, June 22, at 26 weeks plus 1, Karen went to the bathroom and noticed that the water in the toilet was red. On Saturday, June 23, she called me at work to tell me that her uterus felt tight and did not feel right. Later, she called to say that her uterus was hard and she had started to feel contractions in her lower abdomen. I told her that she should go to the hospital, which she did. Later in the evening, she called to ask me to come to the hospital right away. When I arrived, Dr. Obi and a team of nurses were taking care of her. She was having contractions at what seemed to be 2 minutes apart, and the team was watching the contractions and baby’s heartbeat closely. I asked why Karen was wearing an oxygen mask. They told me that baby’s heartbeat had been going down to 100 to 110 (the normal heartrate for our babies is approximately 145 beats per minute) when Karen had contractions, so Karen was wearing an oxygen mask to make sure that baby was getting plenty of oxygen. Dr. Obi and the nurses were very anxious. One of them told Karen that she was going to have a C-Section very soon. They explained that they had given Karen magnesium sulfate in an attempt to slow or stop the contractions.
Although Karen’s blood sugar was good (121) when she checked it at 3:00 p.m., it had gone very high by evening. (Sometimes insulin pump tubing goes faulty and insulin fails to go through to the body, with the result that blood sugars can increase dramatically in a short time.) Dr. Obi told Karen that, once her blood sugar stabilized, they would give Karen steroids to help baby’s lungs to develop. Baby would need stronger lungs if he was delivered this early in the pregnancy.
Dr. Obi, who continued to be very anxious, said that he would like to transfer Karen to Mayo Clinic in Rochester if she and baby stabilized. They kept watching the contraction and heartbeat charts. With Dr. Korducki’s help, Karen’s blood sugar was brought under control. Later, Karen and baby were more stable. They checked her dilation, and she was not dilated. Dr. Obi said it was time to go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester. When I asked him why, he said that Franciscan Skemp’s NICU is rated the same as Mayo’s, but Mayo would be the best place to be if baby was born. He said that the specialists there are better. He also said that Franciscan was full and Mayo had greater capacity. He said that this was our window of opportunity to get Karen up to Mayo, while she was stable. They then med-flighted Karen to Mayo.
After she arrived at Mayo in Rochester, Karen’s contractions became more intense and more frequent again. However, by the time I arrived by car late in the evening, she had become more stable. Karen still had contractions, but they were not as strong. At one point, when baby’s heart rate dropped, Dr. Ajao used a pull-around ultrasound to check things out. He said that baby seemed okay.
Dr. Ajao indicated that Karen’s frequent contractions earlier were a definite sign of an abruption. He explained that that is how contractions work after an abruption – you have one on top of the other. He said that an in-depth ultrasound would be conducted the next morning and Karen would receive a steroid shot (to help the baby’s lungs develop in case of pre-term delivery).
In the middle of the night, baby’s heartbeat started going low again, so they gave Karen an oxygen mask to stabilize the baby. (A report of Dr. Rose that was filed on June 25 noted “two variable decelerations to 50/minute for 1-2 minutes upon commencing NST,” and extremely low heart rate for a baby in the womb. We are not sure if these decelerations (early on June23) are the ones that Dr. Rose referred to in his report.)
Up to this point, Karen received good care and doctors and nurses seemed to be doing everything they could to help Karen and baby.
• The next morning (Sunday, June 24), Dr. Rose, who had seemed to want to influence Karen to have an abortion, came to see Karen for the first time since she arrived in Rochester. From that point forward, the level of care changed dramatically. Dr. Rose did not seem to have any concerns. He did not conduct a full ultrasound, which we had been told to expect, and which could have shown us what was wrong. Instead, he simply took a brief look at baby with a pull-around ultrasound. All of a sudden, the care philosophy changed dramatically. Dr. Rose acted as-if everything was fine. He said that when Karen went home, she could continue life as normal, as studies had not shown any benefit to bed rest in such circumstances. Karen asked about a steroid shot for the baby. Dr. Rose seemed to be opposed to administering a steroid shot. He said that they would only give one if they were sure that there was an abruption, and he suggested that Karen should not get steroid shots, as she was diabetic.
Luckily, a diabetes nurse educator happened to be there at the time and she made it clear to Dr. Rose that it would not be a problem. Dr. Rose said that some women do not like the shot because of where the shot is administered. The diabetes educator again stated that it would not be a problem and the nurse noted that she administers the shots very often. Karen felt that she had to fight to get the steroid shot, and she was glad that the nurse also advocated for the shot, which Karen received later that day. Dr. Rose’s lack of concern, failure to conduct a full ultrasound, and seeming opposition to a steroid shot seemed to show that he did not care about the situation. This caused Karen great anxiety, knowing that something had gone wrong and baby could be at risk, but also seeing that, for some reason, Dr. Rose did not care.
After Dr. Rose’s visit, the nurses stopped their frequent visits. Karen was moved to a different room, and the nurses almost never visited Karen unless she called them in. Obviously, they were not asked to continue monitoring Karen and the baby. It felt really strange that they were not continuing to monitor them. Not a single doctor visited Karen the rest of the day. We eagerly awaited a full ultrasound later in the day so we could see what was wrong, but a full ultrasound was never conducted. Again, it seemed like Dr. Rose did not care if something would happen to baby. This caused Karen great anxiety.
Dr. Rose was supposed to visit Karen around 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Karen had a 20-minute stress test before the visit. When I reviewed it, it showed dips to 110 or lower in the baby’s heartbeat, which had caused so much concern at Franciscan Skemp.
Dr. Rose did not show-up until approximately 6:00 p.m., three hours late (he indicated that he had been at a staff meeting). He very clearly stated that he thought Karen was fine and she should go home. He reiterated that Karen could resume normal activities, as bed rest would not help anything.
Karen was very emotional and said that she would not be comfortable leaving because she was scared for baby’s life. Throughout the entire duration of her stay, she had been experiencing regular contractions and a strong tightening of the uterus that did not subside.
Dr. Rose began to speak too freely. He told us that, with potential problems like this, we should not have more babies.
When Karen asked Dr. Rose why he had not performed an in-depth ultrasound, he said that she had one last week, so it was not necessary. This was a strange response, as the previous ultrasound had been performed before anything had gone wrong! Since the last full ultrasound, Karen had experienced an abruption and bleeding, which had caused contractions and tightening of her uterus, and she had been med-flighted to Mayo. Still, after all of this, Dr. Rose saw no reason to conduct an in-depth ultrasound!
• On Tuesday morning (June 26), three days after Karen was med-flighted to Rochester, a nurse/technician finally conducted the first in-depth ultrasound! Before Karen told her anything about a possible abruption, the nurse/technician said that Karen had an abruption just below her umbilical cord. She said that they typically only see abruptions less than twenty percent of the time, but she could see this one. She said it was definitely an abruption. She showed Karen the abruption, the umbilical cord, and the area where the blood was “swirling,” in her words.
Dr. O’Brien, a resident who was working with Dr. Rose, came in that evening. He said baby looked really good and everything looked fine! Karen asked if he saw the abruption. He said that there was no abruption, and he became very hostile, condescending and rude.
Dr. O’Brien’s attitude reflected Dr. Rose’s attitude. Neither of them showed any concern for baby or the problem in general. They acted like everything was perfectly fine, and made little effort to really check things out. When Karen told Dr. O’Brien her concerns, he laughed! In mocking Karen, he also told her, “Dr. Rose and I were chuckling about you.”
Karen asked Dr. O’Brien if he had looked at the ultrasound images, and he said yes. She asked if he had talked with the nurse/technician who performed the ultrasound. Amy Ramsay, a friend who had come to Mayo and was present during the ultrasound, said someone should take another look at the ultrasound images. Dr. O’Brien said he would talk to the nurse/technician and he left. Amy thinks he then saw the problem for the first time. When he returned, he said that he identified the area, but it was not an abruption. He said that sometimes two lobes form together to make a pocket, which is what was incorrectly identified as an abruption.
Dr. Durleif, a neonatologist who was present when Dr. O’Brien laughed at Karen, showed concern for Karen. He seemed shocked with Dr. O’Brien’s conduct. He suggested that they should conduct a non-stress test, have Karen walk for 20 minutes, and then do another non-stress test. Before her walk, contractions were regular and occurred every seven minutes. After her walk, they were still regular, and their frequency increased to every four minutes.
Karen was discharged from Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dr. Rose’s discharge papers said that she was admitted to Mayo because of high blood sugars! This was very misleading. Besides Dr. Rose and Dr. O’Brien, every other doctor up to that point had identified the problem as an abruption, bleeding, contractions, and heart rate decelerations. The June 23 report of Dr. Korducki, Karen’s diabetes doctors, states that Karen was “admitted to Labor and Delivery with contractions and bright red blood.” (Her report of July 12 states that Karen was “admitted x2 since her last clinic visit…with symptoms of abruption and actually had to be transported to Mayo because of lack of a NICU beds here.”) So Dr. Korducki recognized that Karen was transferred because of symptoms of abruption. Karen also developed high blood sugars when she was in the hospital for her initial visit, but Dr. Korducki brought them down to normal levels before Karen was transferred to Rochester. Her report states that high blood sugars were due to pump failure.
When we saw Dr. Rose’s discharge papers, Karen talked to the nurse and said she was not admitted to Mayo Clinic because of high blood sugars. In fact, her blood sugars came back down before she was transferred to Rochester and remained stable throughout her stay in Rochester. The nurse thought the note was strange, too, but she said that it would take hours to have the papers changed.
It was also strange that Dr. O’Brien said that there was no abruption and said that he and Dr. Rose had been chuckling about Karen (and, assumedly, her concerns), but the discharge papers included a short sentence that said that the ultrasound showed a small abruption. We were told one thing in person, but, on paper, they said another thing. We assumed that they were just trying to protect themselves if they had failed to address a real problem.
When Karen left the hospital on Tuesday evening, contractions were four minutes apart and her cervix had not been checked for dilation since Saturday night. They told her that there was nothing they could do to slow or stop labor if she was in labor.
• On June 29, when we went to Franciscan Skemp for Karen’s next check-up, she met with Dr. Sherman, who seems like a good doctor, and then she took a non-stress test. After Karen had contractions, the baby’s heart beat would slow down markedly, so much so that the nurse rushed into the room, interrupted the non-stress test and told Karen that she needed to go to Labor and Delivery for close monitoring. She said that Dr. Schwarz had seen the monitor and requested that they transfer Karen upstairs right away.
After we arrived at Labor and Delivery, an ultrasound technician conducted a full ultrasound. She clearly identified an abruption and showed us where it was, near the umbilical cord. This was the second time that an ultrasound technician identified the abruption. The technicians both stated that the abruption was near the umbilical cord.
Dr. Schwarz, who was on duty, was very concerned and took a cautious approach. She said that Karen needed to stay in a hospital in case anything went wrong. However, she was concerned that there was not enough room for another baby in the NICU. She said that the condition presented a serious danger for the baby and for Karen. Dr. Schwarz decided that Karen needed to go back to Mayo Clinic in Rochester because of the gravity of the problem and the serious risks.
We explained that Dr. Rose and Dr. O’Brien did not take the risk seriously and we did not want to return to Rochester. We explained that Karen and baby did not receive good care at Rochester during our last visit. We said that we would prefer to have Karen stay at home and be prepared to rush to Franciscan Skemp if anything went wrong. Dr. Schwarz said that something could happen very quickly and Karen and the baby could be harmed. I spoke with a NICU doctor to see if something could be arranged for us, but, despite his concern and efforts, nothing could be worked-out. A nurse suggested that they could try to get us into Gunderson Lutheran. A strong effort was made to arrange for this, but, in the end, it could not happen. Dr. Costakos came into the room to explain the gravity of the situation for our baby, the lack of availability in Franciscan’s NICU, and the need for Karen to go to Rochester for proper care. Karen was then transported by ambulance to Rochester.
• We stayed the night in Rochester and saw various hospital personnel, including Dr. Boris Winterhoff, from Germany. They all confirmed that Karen was experiencing contractions, baby was having heart rate decelerations, and an ultrasound showed an abruption of the placenta. The next morning, a nurse gave us an impression that our official doctor would be coming to see us. We informed her that Karen did not receive good care from Dr. Rose and Dr. O’Brien during her last stay in Rochester, and we asked that they not be involved with her care this time.
After we said that, the main doctor who monitored Karen and baby, Dr. Baldwin, made every effort to convince Karen that there was nothing wrong with her. She seemed to want to justify the lack of concern shown by Dr. Rose and Dr. O’Brien. Karen was again placed in an isolated room at the end of a hall near a construction area, and little attention was paid to her. This again was immensely stressful for Karen, because she knew that something was wrong and doctors in La Crosse confirmed that it was a serious situation, but doctors at Rochester did not care last time, and now Karen saw that Dr. Baldwin did not seem to care, either. She knew that baby was in distress, but this doctor did not think anything was wrong.
When Karen pointed out her concern that baby’s heartbeat always went low after contractions, Dr. Baldwin insisted that it is normal and it is not a problem. When Karen noted that her uterus would harden and remain tight and hard after she moved around, Dr. Baldwin said that her own uterus would tighten-up when she walked up stairs when she was pregnant, and nothing was wrong, so Karen should not be so concerned.
When Karen said that she had an abruption, Dr. Baldwin said that she did not have an abruption! The following medical records show that Dr. Baldwin was quite mistaken and falsely interpreting the medical data: Dr. Schwarz’s report of June 29, 2012 lists “Placental abruption” as the transfer diagnoses, notes that the baby “began having variable decelerations and was brought to Labor and Delivery for monitoring,” states, “There was a small abruption noted near the cord insertion,” and again states, “Suspicion of abruption which is visualized on ultrasound.” Dr. Dennis Costakos’s report of June 29 states “Twenty-seven week and 1 day pregnant with placental abruption.” Dr. Boris Winterhoff (from Rochester) reported on June 30: “US [ultrasound] today showed known placental abruption site near umbilical cord insertion…high census at the NICU at Franciscan Medical Center prompted transfer to RMH for further monitoring.” The reports of Dr. Cynthia Myers and Dr. Jill Moes also recognize that an abruption was identified by ultrasound. Nonetheless, again, likely in order to defend Dr. Rose, Dr. Baldwin insisted that there was no abruption!
When Karen said that she had pain in the uterus, Dr. Baldwin said that it was probably baby’s foot pressing against her uterus (which could have been true for a short time, but not for such a prolonged period of time).
Karen was immensely concerned. She had carried seven other babies to full term, and she knew that something was wrong. Karen had experienced late-term abruptions before, and she recognized the same signs of abruption that she had experienced before, but this time it was even more intense. Worse yet, Dr. Baldwin insisted that nothing was wrong, which heightened Karen’s anxiety. Karen knew that something was wrong, and she knew that Dr. Rose, Dr. O’Brien and Dr. Baldwin did not believe her and, it seemed, did not want to believe her.
We arrived in Rochester later in the day on a Friday. On Sunday, Dr. Baldwin wanted to discharge Karen.
Thus, Dr. Baldwin disregarded Dr. Schwarz’s concerns regarding the baby’s heartbeat decelerations, the evidence of the ultrasound in La Crosse, and Karen’s concerns. We question whether or not she even looked at the reports from La Crosse – she repeatedly referred to our hospital in La Crosse as being in “Eau Claire.”
Dr. Baldwin wanted to discharge Karen even though she had not yet performed a full ultrasound. Karen asked for an ultrasound. Dr. Baldwin finally decided to conduct an ultrasound, in order to convince Karen that nothing was wrong. She and Dr. Brost took us back to an ultrasound room. Dr. Baldwin quickly focused on only one area, which she identified as near the umbilical cord, and she told us that there was no abruption. She said that the area that some people thought was an abruption was just an area of increased blood flow. She said that Karen should go home and she would be just fine. She said that Karen could live a normal life and perform normal activities.
Karen was so anxious for the baby’s health and safety that she was in tears. She knew that something was wrong, despite what she was being told. Dr. Baldwin spent a great deal of time trying to convince Karen that everything was perfectly fine.
We explained that doctors in Rochester ought to communicate better with doctors in La Crosse, as their analysis of the situation was very different.
We then went home.
• The problem culminated in early September. On September 1, Karen felt strong pain in her upper abdomen, in the same place that she had been experiencing pain for quite some time (and doctors had always said it was likely just the baby’s foot pushing out). Karen’s blood sugars dropped to low levels and remained there. She was forced to reduce her basal rate of insulin from 28.8 units down to 18.025 units, which is the amount of insulin she takes when she is not pregnant. Because her blood sugars kept going low, she had to cut the amount of insulin she took with meals by almost one-half. During seven previous pregnancies, she had never reduced insulin levels until after her babies were delivered, so she knew that something was seriously wrong.
On September 3, Karen contacted Dr. Korducki. Dr. Korducki indicated that the drop in insulin needs indicated that there was something wrong with the placenta. Dr. Korducki contacted OB-GYN, and they called Karen in to the hospital.
Karen experienced nausea in the car. At the hospital, baby’s heart beat was monitored, and it showed problems. At one point, Karen passed out. She woke-up and threw up. Baby’s heart rate went up to 170 beats per minute and remained there for a long period of time. Amniotic fluid was low (8). Because things did not look good, an anesthesiologist was brought-in to prepare Karen for a possible C-Section. The nurse put Karen on oxygen and a drip to attempt to stabilize Karen and baby. Karen was told to lay on her right side. When she would sit-up or turn, baby’s heart rate did not look good, so she remained in that position for hours.
After a long time, things finally stabilized.
Despite all of the serious indications of problems, Dr. Obi did not visit Karen all day, although a resident did. The resident eventually informed us that Dr. Obi said we could go home! We were shocked, so we asked if Dr. Obi could come and talk with us. Before he came, I made a list of concerns to discuss with him. We told Dr. Obi that we believed that baby needed to be delivered right away. Karen was at 36 weeks plus 4 and she and baby had multiple problems. Dr. Obi said there was not enough cause to deliver the baby before 37 weeks. I said that we believed that baby was at greater risk if he remained in the womb than if he was delivered. Karen gave Dr. Obi every reason why it was best to deliver baby right away. Karen and I noted the following issues, all from the list I had made (I still have the list today):
- An abruption to the placenta at 26 weeks;
- strong pain in the upper uterus, where the placenta was located;
- a history of late abruptions;
- a previous child was born with the placenta;
- Karen had nausea in the morning;
- Karen passed out and threw-up at the hospital;
- Baby’s heart rate went up to 170 and remained there for a long time;
- Karen’s insulin needs were greatly reduced. She was forced to reduce her basal rate of insulin from 28.8 units down to 18.025 units, which is the amount of insulin she takes when she is not pregnant. Because her blood sugars kept going low, she had to cut the amount of insulin she took with meals by almost one-half. During seven previous pregnancies, she had never reduced insulin levels until after her babies were delivered, so she knew that something was seriously wrong. We asked Dr. Obi if he had spoken with Dr. Korducki. He stated that he had spoken with her when she called to have Karen admitted, and she had indicated that the drop in insulin needs to pre-pregnancy levels indicated “placental deterioration.”
Additionally, the amniotic fluid index was 8.06 cm. And as an experienced mother, Karen was certain that baby was experiencing great distress in the womb.
We said that we did not want to wait for a bigger problem to occur. Dr. Obi said that everything looked good now, including baby’s heart rate, so there was no need to deliver the baby! This completely contradicted all of the facts.
Although we wanted to have the baby delivered immediately, we were sent home. Again, Karen’s nurse (a different nurse than before), said that she was afraid to have us leave. She even told us how we could file a complaint about Dr. Obi!
• The next day, September 4, we went to a scheduled appointment with Dr. Sousou. By this point, with so many troubling signs and intense concern for the life of baby, Karen had reached her limit. She emphatically told Dr. Sousou that she wanted to deliver the baby right away because she was concerned for his life. She told him about all of the problems that we had already pointed out to Dr. Obi (I brought my list and made sure that she mentioned every point).
Dr. Sousou expressed his belief that there had never been an abruption! He said that the latest ultrasound did not show any problems. When Karen mentioned what Dr. Korducki said about the drastic drop in insulin needs indicating placental deterioration, Dr. Sousou said that he was aware of what Dr. Korducki thought. He was not concerned about it. He said that many things can lower blood sugar, and it was probably Karen’s emotions that brought her blood sugars down. He said that Dr. Korducki was a diabetes doctor, not an OB-GYN, and he was the OB-GYN. He suggested that Dr. Korducki should not get involved with OB-GYN issues.
Despite Karen’s emphatic pleas, Dr. Sousou said that Karen would still have to wait until she reached 37 weeks before she could deliver baby. It was obvious that he had no respect for Karen or any of her concerns.
Although she had already received steroids to help the lungs develop, Dr. Sousou said that Karen still had to wait for amniocentesis at the end of the week, when she would be 37 weeks into the pregnancy. He said that if everything looked good, she could still deliver the baby on the day after the amniocentesis. He had scheduled the delivery for 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 7.
The last week of pregnancy was terrifying for Karen. She had great anxiety about the life and health of baby. She had never been so afraid.
After amniocentesis was performed on September 6, contractions became more painful and frequent. Karen remained in the hospital several hours, until they slowed and the pain was less. Dr. Sousou said that he would call us with the results. He never called.
On September 6, Dr. Brost called Karen back, in response to the message that she had left for him on August 28. He called shortly after Karen had returned home from receiving the amniocentesis. He was sad to hear that Karen had bled three more times since being in Rochester. When he heard about her insulin needs dropping, he said that amniocentesis had not been necessary and the baby should be delivered right away. He said that the baby needed to be delivered, regardless of the results of the amniocentesis.
Karen was in a constant state of worry. She knew that baby was often in distress, and she thought that she might lose him, so she sought the help of doctors. However, doctors did not seem to care at all, and she learned that she could not trust them. Because of the way that she was treated, she felt like doctors did not care that Peter Joseph’s life was at risk. We never forgot that Dr. Rose seemed to suggest that we should consider terminating Peter Joseph’s life. He also told us that we should not have more babies.
What should a mother do when she knows that something is wrong with her baby, and numerous signs support her understanding, but doctors act as if nothing is wrong and seem not to care?
• Karen was not allowed to deliver baby until September 8, after being induced the evening before. The delivery doctor, Dr. Koike, was a nice doctor who was new to Franciscan Skemp. This was his first delivery at Franciscan. He delivered little Peter Joseph.
We did not tell Dr. Koike about our concerns regarding a placental abruption. However, after Peter Joseph was delivered, Dr. Koike examined the placenta and said that he was shocked about the condition of the placenta. He said that there were multiple blood clots. I asked him if they were the result of an abruption. He said that there were multiple blood clots and abruptions. He said that the entire upper part of the placenta was like one big abruption.
Dr. Koike’s discharge summary, dated September 10, 2012, states, “Abruption was clinically diagnosed by observation of the delivered placenta” and notes, “After the delivery of the baby, multiple old clots came out, and multiple small clots over the placenta, which consisted of chronic placental abruptions.” (On October 25, Dr. Koike’s 6-week postpartum report noted again that the pregnancy “was complicated with chronic abruptions.”)
When he was born, Peter Joseph looked like he had been through heck. He looked very rugged. I told Karen that he looked like a Viking who was born during a storm at sea.
At least four doctors, Dr. Rose, Dr. O’Brien, Dr. Baldwin, and Dr. Sousou, denied that anything was wrong throughout the pregnancy, and denied that there was an abruption, even as late as September 4. Dr. Obi showed concern early on, but, likely because of the bad influence of the doctors at Rochester, he became callous and acted as though nothing was wrong. The way that some of the doctors treated Karen was shocking.
All of these doctors were wrong. They failed to provide the level of care and concern that they needed to provide, for the safety and well-being of Karen and Peter Joseph. It was frustrating that we would sometimes get intellectual reports of what studies said, but none of the doctors exhibited practical common sense. They refused to listen to a mother with seven other children and what her body was telling her. Despite all of their scholarly, theoretical knowledge, they were completely wrong. Karen had multiple abruptions, and the abruptions caused all of the problems that she experienced.
We began to wonder if some doctors specifically wanted something to go wrong, and thought that, through not providing proper care, maybe we would lose baby. We always received bad care at Mayo Clinic/Methodist Hospital in Rochester. We wondered if doctors there performed abortions, and if this made them insensitive to the health of Peter. If, like Dr. Rose, they did not think that we should have more babies, and they were involved in the termination of pregnancies through abortion, maybe they thought that they could provide less care and allow Peter to die.
Have any of the doctors been involved with abortions? Does Mayo Clinic in Rochester perform abortions?
Why did a number of doctors adamantly refuse to believe that Karen had an abruption? Why did they ignore so much evidence of problems, including numerous ultrasounds that showed abruptions? Why didn’t they try to figure out what the problem was? Why didn’t they care?
• I hoped that the nightmare was over for Karen after Peter Joseph was born. However, Karen could not stop thinking about her extreme anxiety about Peter Joseph’s well-being during her pregnancy. She could not stop thinking about all of the doctors who opposed her and how she struggled to get them to believe her and provide a higher level of care, to no avail. Following Peter Joseph’s birth, as the weeks, and now months, have gone by, Karen’s anxiety has not subsided. She constantly thinks about the way your doctors treated her and showed no concern for her baby. She wakes up during the night in panic, as she did during her pregnancy, worrying about baby. She has difficulty sleeping because she cannot stop thinking about the terrible situation. Karen has been completely traumatized.
In an effort to figure things out and hopefully bring closure to the situation, Karen requested her medical records. Although we paid over two hundred dollars for the records and waited more than one month to receive them, we did not even receive one-third of them. Karen followed-up by requesting records from specific dates, with specific doctors and procedures, but she received nothing other than forms that she had already received, with items such as lab results or appointments with other doctors close to the requested dates. Records of doctor reports in which she reported bleeding or visiting the hospital because of abdominal pain, etc., were not provided, even after two requests. It seemed that she was given the run-around and specific reports were purposely withheld. Instead of bringing closure for Karen, this prolonged the difficult situation and produced more anxiety and suspicion of ill-intent on the part of the hospital system.
Another reason why no closure has been received is that little Peter Joseph is not developing at the rate that all of his older siblings developed. His body has been very stiff and tight. He has not hit most milestones on time, such as holding his head up, rolling over, grabbing toys, etc. Socially, Peter has been behind, too. Peter does not seem to feel pain, or he feels much less (and certainly reacts less) than a normal baby. His occupational therapist from Birth to 3 said that the fact that Peter’s toes and fingers were so tightly squeezed for months shows that he experienced trauma in the womb, and this is a self-defense mechanism. She is currently working to loosen his feet so that he will be able to walk. She works with his mouth so that he can hopefully suck and eat properly. She is trying to get him to use his diaphragm to breathe. Peter is more dominant on one side of his body, so she is trying to teach him how to use both sides of his body together.
In January, Peter was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, but it may only be slight. Also, Peter’s eyes do not work together, so he has been scheduled to have eye surgery when he is eight months old.
Peter had an MRI, which showed that he is lacking myelin in his brain and that cavities in his brain have not decreased in size and changed form, as they should have by now. The MRI showed that he may not have Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, so we are unsure what is causing his problems. We are afraid that he may be physically and mentally handicapped, but we are not sure about what the exact problems are.
• In summary, Karen and Peter were mistreated by various doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and La Crosse. As a result, they are both suffering. Peter may suffer for the rest of his life.
May 7, 2013