David Prior and Melissa Yates have launched legal action over the horror birth of their daughter.

Audrey Prior, born in March 2013, was left with severe disabilities after her birth at Bacchus Marsh Hospital.

The infant was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE) – brain damage caused by oxygen loss.

David and Melissa claim the labour was not monitored correctly during Audrey’s March 18-19 birth.

The couples lawyers said their first born child, Audrey Ann Prior, was not breathing when she was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. They believe that negligent management of Ms Yates’ labour caused Audrey’s HIE.

“As first-time parents, we were relying on their expertise and we trusted them,’’ they said in a statement.

“We now know that Audrey (wasn’t) being monitored carefully enough. There was no sense of urgency about delivering Audrey until things started to go really badly.’’

“We don’t know what the future holds for her.

“Audrey can’t walk, crawl or even roll over.’’

They said holding objects would be a challenge for their daughter and she required assistance to sit.

With news of other similar cases at the hospital the couple are determined to not let this happen to another family.

“Audrey has such a bright personality with gorgeous smile and laugh. We know this is all very frustrating for her and it’s heartbreaking for us. We just don’t want this to happen to any other families.’’

Kathryn Booth, head of medical negligence at Maurice Blackburn is seeking millions of dollars for the traumatised family who face ongoing expenses to care for their daughter.

“Melissa had an uneventful, low-risk pregnancy and was not categorised has having a high-risk birth. However, things can change quickly in labour and birth and her baby became distressed,” she said.

“The warning signs were not recognised by midwifery staff, nor acted upon quickly enough by staff at the hospital. We allege that there was poor management of Melissa’s labour and Audrey’s birth and that, as a result, Audrey was born in a very poor state.”

So heart breaking and something that may have been avoided with the right care. I really feel for this family and hope they get a fair hearing.

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  • I hope for a favourable outcome for this family to assist in providing care for their daughter, my thoughts and prayers with the parents and little Audrey, The hospital has some serious duty of care issues and should be found to have provided inadequate care for Melissa and her unborn child, completely unacceptable.


  • Thoughts are with the family and lil bubs. The hospital needs to be held responsible.


  • What a horrible story. So heartbreaking for Audrey and her family.


  • it is hard – we have to put so much of our trust and faith into the hospital system and staff, yet when they are overworked, uncaring and negligent it is very difficult. seeing stories like this just shouldn’t happen.


  • So very very sad. I wish this family all the best.


  • How heart breaking..sending love and strength and wishing them well for the future.


  • So terrible for this couple and their beautiful little girl. Horrendous to have an uneventful, text book pregnancy and then for the hospital staff to be neglectful and their once healthy baby is no longer. Just tragic


  • What a tragic story, by far the worst I have ever heard. I hope they get some good justice…


  • That is terrible. I understand things can happen regardless but I think all pregnancies should be treated as potentially high risk, especially first time. When I had my daughter, I kind of got the sense that some of the midwives have become complacent. One actually said to me that I shouldn’t worry about a thing because she does it every day. I just think they should expect the unexpected and not treat every woman/birth/pregnancy the same.


  • wow so heartbreaking for audrey and her family. i hope that this gets resolved.


  • Wishing this family well with their journey.


  • That poor poor family. It breaks my heart


  • How awful!
    As first time parents I can not even begin to imagine the terror they must have been going through!
    The hospital has a lot to answer for!
    No amount of money can undo what has been done in this case, but it can make things a bit easier for the family & provide Audrey with more assistance.
    Thoughts are with Audrey & her parents during this difficult time & wishing them all the best for the future.


  • This is really terrible! Poor family! It shouldn’t have happened!


  • oh my heart breaks for them, what a terrible ordeal to have to go through. Sending them strength and I hope they can find some peace and resolution to this soon


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