Kernicterus Case Study: Vasili Kalisperas' Story

Vasili Kalisperas, of Worcestershire, was born a perfectly healthy baby boy, and just a few hours after his birth he and his mother Elena were allowed to go home. However his family’s joy turned to disbelief, sadness and anger when two days later he sustained catastrophic kernicterus brain damage.

Midwife fails to take action on jaundice

A student midwife who visited him in the home failed to take any action on his newborn jaundice and gave his parents the impression that his jaundice was nothing to worry about. This allowed Vasili’s condition to spiral to the point that he almost died. Vasili survived but it was soon apparent that he would be very seriously disabled. He has since been diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy and is deaf and blind.

How JMW helped

Vasili’s case was taken on by the experienced medical negligence team at JMW, which specialises in cases of brain damage caused by jaundice errors. The hospital trust responsible for the midwife’s failures admitted that appalling errors were made and that these had caused Vasili’s brain damage. Read more about Vasili's case here

With support from JMW his father Michael Kalisperas has since campaigned to raise awareness of Vasili’s plight and the fact that his brain damage was avoidable if guidelines had been followed. Michael hopes to see the failures to test and monitor babies with newborn jaundice to be recognised as an NHS ‘never event’.

Press coverage

Vasili’s story has been covered by the Daily Mail, BBC Midlands Today, BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester, the Worcester News and the Malvern Gazette.

Michael commented: “The failure to treat Vasili’s newborn jaundice has had a devastating impact on the whole family. However if the guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence had been followed and simple steps had been taken Vasili would have made a complete recovery.That is extremely difficult to come to terms with and is why we want to ensure the NHS makes ensuring its staff are aware of the risks a priority.”

You can read more about Vasili’s story on the website Michael set up to reach out to others who may find themselves in the same situation and raise awareness of the need for good newborn jaundice care at

Get in touch if you have also suffered similar negligence

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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