The Pierce family was vacationing in Florida when their daughter Kate finally succumbed to a life she'd been forced into after a doctor misdiagnosed pneumococcal meningitis as tonsillitis when she was just nine months old. The doctor who missed the true cause of Kate's illness sent her home shortly after her hospital visit, assuring her parents that he had consulted with a senior physician when they asked for a second opinion.
Later they would find out that he had lied. He had misdiagnosed their child and lied about seeking guidance from a senior doctor in doing so. The medical mistake of misdiagnosis meant that the life-saving treatment she required was delayed by a day.
Kate ended up with permanent, life-long effects of the misdiagnosis that should have been avoidable. She had severe brain damage and acquired cerebral palsy. She was blind and deaf and suffering from severe sleep apnea that required around-the-clock monitoring. She was forced to pay, with her life, for her doctor's mistake.
At one point or another, Kate battled swine flu and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). She had at least one shunt surgically placed in her head. She was forced to suffer for six full years after being misdiagnosed before even celebrating her first birthday.
The family's attorney estimated that Kate's medical care cost upwards of 150,000 pounds on a yearly basis. The Pierces call the United Kingdom home.
Kate's passing during the family's vacation was the second time they'd lost their baby girl, according to her parents. Once after the misdiagnosis lead to serious medical complications that permanently changed all of their lives and again, just recently, when the complications finally got the best of her.
The family still wants answers from the doctor that so tragically changed their lives.
Source: Wales Online, "'Our daughter went through hell. We don't want this to happen to anyone else'," April 6, 2013