Local News

Parents sue doctors for millions over daughter’s birth defect

A couple who say they would have aborted their daughter if they had known she had a severe brain defect are suing the medical professionals who allegedly failed to spot it.

A couple who say they would have aborted their daughter if they had known she had a severe brain defect are suing the medical professionals who allegedly failed to spot it.

In papers filed to the Brisbane Supreme Court, Regan Hooker and Wayne Ball, who are originally from New Zealand, but now live in the Gold Coast, say they would have terminated their pregnancy if they knew their child would have a severe brain defect and want $2.5 million in damages.

The couple’s daughter Aria, now two, was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome during an MRI in June 2014.

As both parents are New Zealand citizens they are not entitled to government support to pay for Aria’s medical treatment, and have also launched a fundraising campaign online to help pay for their daughter’s care.

Her mother Regan writes on her daughter’s GoFundMe page that her condition causes her impaired vision, hearing loss as well as “scoliosis of the spine and will be very soon put into a spinal cast.”

Regan Hooker and Aria. PHOTO: Facebook.

According to a report in the Courier Mail, the parents claim that Aria’s birth defect should have been picked up at the 19 week ultrasound in September 2013 but sonographer Kim Andrews and specialist radiologist Greg Duncombe of Queensland Maternal Fetal Medicine in Southport failed to find the problem.

The Courier Mail reports that the couple claims obstetrician Penelope Isherwood “did not warn them of the condition and that none of the medical professionals involved suggested a repeat ultrasound at 22 weeks gestation or a foetal MRI at 26 weeks”.

The medical staff accused in the case are yet to file responses to Aria’s parent’s claims.

Related stories


Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.