When you fall ill, you trust your doctors to treat your symptoms and help you get better. Many people in Massachusetts turn to licensed professionals in their time of need. When a physician commits medical negligence, it can mean much more than simply missing a warning sign. A mistake can have serious repercussions for the victim, as one Lowell family is discovering.

Parents of a 9-year-old boy live in fear of losing their son due to a syndrome he developed as a newborn. The family’s attorney noted that the child has an issue that cannot be fixed, and it is because of a hospital’s negligence that he will live the rest of his life with this condition.

The child was born prematurely. In a lawsuit, the family of the child alleges that two physicians and a neonatal nurse practitioner did not take the appropriate actions when the child showed symptoms of a potentially fatal condition. As a result, part of the infant’s intestines had to be removed, and he is not able to digest food on his own.

The hospital noted that half the infants in the U.S. who are born under similar circumstances develop the same issues the infant has. The hospital said they feel the interventions the medical staff performed saved his life, as up to 15 percent of the infants who develop the condition pass away.

However, the child now requires continuous tube feeding overnight and other treatment during the day. A jury sided with the family, who will be awarded damages as a result of the hospital’s negligence. The family’s attorney noted the jury granted the parents approximately $30 million, but a hospital spokeswoman placed the figure around $5 million. In either case, the family will receive compensation, as should anyone who experiences injury or illness as a result of medical malpractice. Seeking an attorney’s help to navigate the claim is in the best interest of anyone pursuing damages due to a doctor error.

Source: Boston.com, “Lowell family to receive at least $5m in malpractice suit against Tufts Medical Center,” Travis Andersen, Nov. 21, 2013