Family suing Grande Prairie hospital, doctors for $31.7M

Kamryn Bond’s hospital stay when she was 11-months-old had life-altering consequences. 

Bond, now 12, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Grande Prairie on February 19, 2011.

Just over five weeks later, both her legs were amputated below the knees, along with her right hand and three fingers on her left hand. By that time she had been transferred to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

Now Bond’s mother is fighting on her daughter’s behalf with a $31.7 million lawsuit in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench against the doctors and the Queen Elizabeth II hospital. 

Justice Avril Inglis has heard two weeks of testimony last month and heard from a final defence witness on Wednesday. The trial will sit for another eight days in September. 

According to a statement of claim filed with the courts in 2015, Kamryn’s mother, Dale Bond, brought her baby to the hospital in 2011 because she was suffering from shortness of breath, a dry cough and fever. 

Family physician Dr. Mark Guhle is one of the doctors named in the lawsuit. He took care of Kamryn while she remained in the Grande Prairie hospital. 

Doctors initially believed the infant had a viral infection after she tested positive for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and she was treated accordingly. Antibiotics were not administered at that time because doctors felt her condition was caused by a virus, not bacteria. 

Two days after she was admitted to hospital, medical records showed Kamryn’s condition was deteriorating. She was lethargic and her fever spiked in the morning at 40.5 C.

The doctor ordered more tests and according to court transcripts of his testimony, he asked to be notified if there were any significant changes in Kamryn’s condition. 

By the morning of February 22, she was in respiratory failure. 

“She had a bacterial lung infection that was not treated and led to sepsis,” Bond’s lawyer, Duncan Embury said on Wednesday. “The sepsis was not recognized and developed all the way into septic shock.” 

Kamryn was immediately placed on intravenous antibiotics and transferred to the Stollery. 

According to the statement of claim, “She faced many issues including infection, respiratory difficulties, adrenal insufficiency, ischemic limbs [restricted blood flow], nutrition difficulties and renal failure.” 

The court document alleges the subsequent amputations and other complications were the direct result of the delay in diagnosis and treatment in the Grande Prairie hospital. They allege the injuries were caused by doctors’ negligence.

In their filed statements of defence, the defendants deny all allegations. 

In seeking damages, the plaintiffs allege that Kamryn has suffered and will continue to suffer a significant personal injury that will mean ongoing care expenses and the loss of earning capacity. 

It also alleges that Kamryn’s mother, Dale Bond, has shouldered the burden of caring for a significantly injured child, which has also resulted in the loss of income and earning capacity.

Dale Bond did not respond to a request from the CBC for comment. 

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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