Wednesday, July 27

How out of touch can you be?

A woman who gave birth to her son in a toilet bowl, despite having a sterilisation procedure months earlier, has been given permission to sue for damages in the Supreme Court.

Gail Theresa Taylor was granted permission to bring her case despite the time that has elapsed since the surprise 1997 birth of her son, David. As well as claiming for nervous shock, the Central Coast woman is suing for the cost of raising her son, who has cerebral palsy.

Associate Justice Bryan Malpass heard that Ms Taylor and her partner, Michael Garlick, were in poor financial circumstances and already had three children. Ms Taylor attended Wyong Hospital for a tubal ligation on May 6, 1997.

Four months later, on September 11, Ms Taylor said she went to the toilet. "I had passed a very small amount of urine when I looked down and saw a miniature baby's head. I stood up and quite simply caught my son in my hands." She said she screamed for help, and when she sat down again her placenta ruptured, causing huge blood loss and a "very gruesome scene indeed".

She said it was when she went to see a gynaecologist in 1999 and had a hysterectomy that she became aware she was pregnant at the time of the tubal ligation, and a mistake may have been made.

Lawyers for the Central Coast Area Health Service and the doctor who carried out the procedure, Dr John Palmer, argued that Ms Taylor and Mr Garlick should not be allowed to bring the case due to the inability to locate records.

I always find these stories so hard to believe - how can you not know you are pregnant?


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