Kernicterus Case Study: Nashae Prendegast-Coote's Story

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Nashae Prendegast-Coote is a lovely, “cheeky” child that his grandmother and carer Marja Powell cherishes dearly. But when she thinks about what the future might hold for him, it’s difficult for her not to get upset.

The three-year-old, of Deptford, London, cannot stand or walk and has severely impaired eyesight. Nashae has kernicterus, the result of jaundice that was not treated appropriately.

After Marja sought help from the specialist medical negligence team at JMW the hospital trust responsible admitted negligence. This means that Nashae's future is secure and he will be able to access the specialist care, accommodation and equipment that he will require for the rest of his life. You can read more about Nashae's case here. After Marja sought help from JMW the hospital trust responsible admitted negligence. This means that Nashae's future is secure and he will be able to access the specialist care, accommodation and equipment that he will require for the rest of his life. You can read more about Nashae's case here. 

Nurses had noticed Nashae was jaundiced early on and had placed him under a UV light the day after he was born. But despite the jaundice initially clearing up, it later returned more severely, something a concerned Marja mentioned to a nurse on several occasions.

The nurse told Marja that Nashae was fine, but in reality he was not. While Marja’s concerns had been dismissed that afternoon, a call from the hospital at 2am the following morning told her all was not well.

After arriving at the hospital, the family was advised that Nashae had undergone blood transfusions in the night and that 75 per cent of his blood had been replaced. Marja was told that this was because Nashae’s jaundice had worsened over a short period of time – even though Marja had warned the nurse about his condition the previous afternoon. No tests on Nashae’s level of bilirubin - the substance that causes jaundice and also brain damage if it is too high – had been done until 10.20pm. Precious time had been wasted before action was taken.

“I feel very angry and let down that my concerns about Nashae’s jaundice were not taken seriously and treatment was delayed as a result,” says Marja. “Life for Nashae and the family is now very, very difficult. I am trying to care for him, while also holding down a full-time job to ensure the bills get paid. I would not wish this on anyone. We have no idea how Nashae will be when he gets older and can only hope that lessons have been learned.”

Has your family also been affected by kernicterus?

To speak to a member of the team at JMW, simply call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and allow us to contact you. We will discuss your situation with understanding and care, and help you get the outcome you deserve.

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