The parents of a two-year-old Charlottetown girl who are suing the P.E.I. government and four doctors held a news conference Friday.
Melissa Driscoll and fiancé Danny Roche said their daughter, Emma, is severely brain damaged because of inadequate medical treatment.
In late January 2011, they say they took then eight-month-old Emma to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital emergency room because she had a cough and coarse breathing.
'A part of my baby died …and a big part of me died as well.' —Melissa Driscoll
As outlined in the family's statement of claim, they say the child was first diagnosed with a fever and a respiratory infection and sent home. They returned to the emergency room the next day. Emma was diagnosed with influenza and again, she was sent home.
A couple of hours later, her condition worsened and the family took the child back to the QEH.
"I wasn't taking any chances, so I took her to the emergency room, then I took her back again, then took her back again and still I knew something was really wrong," said Driscoll.
At this point, the family says Emma was diagnosed with severe croup, but she suffered respiratory arrest and her heart stopped. A pediatrician eventually got Emma's heart beating again. The child was flown to IWK Health Centre in Halifax where, according to the family, tests confirmed she had severe brain injury.
Doctors to file defence in September
The family is suing two emergency room doctors, Kate Ellis-Ghiz and Pauline Champion, along with pediatricians, Peter Noonan and Mitch Zelman.
They are suing for an unspecified amount.
"Since that terrifying moment, my family has been living a nightmare, from which it seems, we will never wake up," said Driscoll.
"A part of my baby died February 1st 2011. And a big part of me died as well."
Emma now requires around-the-clock care.
"Emma lies in prison and her future is uncertain," said Driscoll.
"If one positive thing could be achieved out of this senseless tragedy it's for every single parent to look to your children and know you have the right to question a doctor's opinion. You have a right to know what any medication given to your child does and why it's given."
The P.E.I. government is denying all allegations.
In its statement of defence, the government said any injuries to Emma were caused by the negligence of her parents.
Lawyers for the doctors said they will file a defence in mid-September.