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Summer Gilhousen was so excited to be a mom and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first-born child. After her water broke, she was admitted into a local hospital and administered an epidural. After Summer was admitted to the hospital, she received an epidural to help ease the pain from her contractions. She fell asleep and it wasn’t for several hours until nurses discovered she had become unresponsive and was turning blue. Her oxygen levels had drastically dropped so she was rushed into the operating room for an emergency C-section.
Summer was suffering from an amniotic fluid embolus (AFE), which is when the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus during pregnancy enters the mother’s bloodstream during delivery or immediately postpartum. The doctors made the decision not to perform an emergency hysterectomy to stop Summer from hemorrhaging.
That decision and their delay in providing treatment for this life-threatening condition, Summer would never get to meet her baby boy. Summer’s mother, Sandy Hobbs, wanted justice for her daughter who had been robbed of her life and the chance to be a mother. She also knew her baby grandson would need the kind of support his mother was no longer alive to provide, so she called the team at Coker Law.
Cases involving maternal death during child birth are always incredibly tragic and unfortunately studies show this trend is on the rise in the United States. The mortality rate for those who suffer from AFE is nearly 90%, which tragically means that in the majority of these situations, the mother will die. However, with the assistance of expert physicians who specialize in treatment of AFE, Coker Law was able to prove that if Summer had received the treatment she needed in a prompt and appropriate manner, her life, more likely that not, would have been saved.
“As a mother of two, this case, as with all of my cases involving birth trauma or maternal death, was incredibly personal to me,” said Lindsay Tygart, Coker Law attorney. Tygart actually knew Summer personally. Summer worked at one of Tygart’s favorite stores in San Marco and they would see each other often. Tygart remembers the joy in Summer’s face when she told her that she was pregnant. Summer had always wanted to have a baby, and now her dreams were finally coming true. When Tygart heard about Summer’s case, she knew that she needed to fight for her friend.
During Tygart’s investigation into the case, she was told by numerous expert physicians that the AFE condition was too difficult for any physician to overcome and there was nothing that could have been done. She refused to accept that and kept digging, this case became a true labor of love. “I knew I could never bring Summer back to be a mother to the baby boy that she tragically left behind, but if I, on Summer’s behalf, could just help provide for him monetarily to some extent, then her death would not be in vain. Fortunately, we were able to do that. I truly feel that Summer is looking down and she is happy.”
IF YOU THINK YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS THE VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
If you believe you or a loved on has been the victim of medical malpractice, speak with a personal injury attorney experienced in medical malpractice. You may qualify to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injuries. To speak with Coker Law attorney Lindsay Tygart or for more information call (904) 356-6071 or click here to schedule a free consultation.
Case Title: Estate of Summer Dawn Gilhousen v. A Local Obstetrics and Gynecological Group
Attorneys/Staff involved in the case: Attorney Lindsay Tygart and Paralegal Heather Brown
Date of Settlement: August 28, 2018
Amount of Settlement: Confidential