The parents of the newborn who survived the nitrous-oxide gassing at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital have spoken for the first time.
Danial and Benish Khan welcomed their first child in June. Baby Amelia was born via caesarean at the west Sydney hospital, soon after birth her parents realised something had gone terribly wrong.
Amelia had suffered irreversible brain damage, which left her with constant seizures, dependent on a feeding tube and in need of constant high-level care.
Weeks later they learnt that their baby was mistakenly administered nitrous oxide pumped through an oxygen line in one of the hospital’s resuscitation units, reports SMH.
“It’s devastating as a parent to be told that your precious daughter has suffered permanent brain damage,” Mr and Mrs Khan said.
“We just want everyone to know what happened to Amelia won’t ever go away.
“She will always have to live with the consequences of what was done to her at the hospital. But we will always be by her side and we’ll do everything we can to give her the best possible future,” they said.
It took the death of newborn boy for the hospital to finally identify the cause. Baby John Ghanem died after he was administered nitrous oxide from the same pipeline less than one month after Amelia was born.
“We can only imagine the intense pain this family is going through and our hearts go out to them,” the Khans said.
The family’s lawyer, Libby Brookes from Maurice Blackburn said, “Amelia’s family and Maurice Blackburn hope that by investigating exactly what occurred at Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital we can prevent this ever happening again to another family and restore some confidence in the system.”
Chief executive of the South West Sydney Local Health District Amanda Larkin said: “I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to the family at this distressing time.”
“Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital has had ongoing contact with the family following the birth of their baby,” Ms Larkin said.
“Following discussions last week a range of additional services have been proposed to support the family’s ongoing needs,” she said.
Premier Mike Baird has promised compensation is being fast-tracked for the family.
Mr Baird said the government is doing everything possible to support Daniel and Benish Khan.
“We will expedite anything we can and certainly that’s what we are doing at the moment … we (want to) take as much stress off as we can,” Mr Baird told reporters on Tuesday.
At the same hospital a stillborn baby and a miscarried baby were mixed up, resulting in the wrong baby being cremated.
We hope something is done urgently to prevent these cases ever happening to another family.
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Image via SMH