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Brain Defect boy Compensated for Medical Error

A 16-year-old boy whose brain damage at birth has turned him into a virtual vegetable has finally won compensation from the doctors his parents hold guilty, but that is of// little use to him.

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal (NCDR) forum has ordered the Cosmopolitan Hospital here and two doctors to pay Rs.1.1 million ($24,300) to the parents of Chakkara alias Naveen Thomas, holding them responsible for medical negligence. The money was given away last month.

But Chakkara doesn't know anything about it. He keeps crying, now and then, and constantly falls down as he tries to walk within his house.

The boy's -- and his parents' -- trauma began Dec 13, 1989. What was to be a landmark day for Shibhu Thomas (now 44) and Geetha George (now 38) turned out to be a devastating moment from which they never recovered.

Geetha's expected date of delivery, of their first child, was Dec 6, 1989. Their gynecologist told them that all was fine and the baby would be born a few days later.

Shibhu Thomas told IANS: "On the 11th pain was induced. The first mistake took place when the senior gynecologist did not do an immediate caesarian... Geetha was left alone.

"Two days later, by noon Geetha delivered Chakkara, little realizing that his days of misery were to begin."

For three days the newborn did not cry nor did he suck milk. And Thomas felt the doctors were not responding adequately to his and his wife's misery.

"I felt it was getting out of hand. I asked for the case sheet. After a while I grabbed the case sheet and the hospital referred my baby to the Government Medical College Hospital. After a lot of checkups we were told that my son's brain cells have been damaged because of breath asphyxia caused due to the delay in delivery," said Thomas, a bank manager.

After 45 days at the government hospital, Thomas and Geetha returned with their baby, knowing well that he w
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