Lawsuit Alleges Doctors Mistakenly Declared Boy Dead

Chicago parents filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging their disabled son was still alive when he was pronounced dead

By Michelle Relerford
|  Friday, Oct 19, 2012  |  Updated 5:18 PM CDT
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Parents Sheena Lane and Pink Dorsey filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging doctors at Mercy Hospital declared their 8-year-old son dead when he was actually alive. Michelle Relerford reports.

Parents Sheena Lane and Pink Dorsey filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging doctors at Mercy Hospital declared their 8-year-old son dead when he was actually alive. Michelle Relerford reports.

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Doctors at Mercy Hospital are accused of declaring a little boy dead earlier this year when he was actually still alive.

Chicago parents Sheena Lane and Pink Dorsey filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging medical negligence during the Feb. 18 incident involving their 8-year-old son, Jaylen.

"A nurse and a doctor came out and told me that it wasn't looking good for Jaylen, as I know he was a very sick boy and this was the end for Jaylen," Lane recalled about the day her son was rushed to the hospital because he couldn't breathe.

Jaylen had suffered severe brain damage since he was two years old, Lane and Dorsey told reporters during a Friday news conference.

"He could still smile at us, he could still open his eyes and hear us," Dorsey said.

The family said doctors at the hospital that day told them to give up. Lane said she wanted doctors to keep working, but his time of death was called at 9:52 a.m.

They began making arrangements and calling family. The funeral home came to remove Jaylen's body, but his parents wanted more time with him. That's when everything changed.

"His eyes popped open and everybody gasped," Dorsey said.

Still It wasn't until four hours later when the family insisted on more tests that they say doctors admitted he was alive.

Jaylen was still alive Friday, and the family is suing Mercy Hospital and their two attending doctors.

"The lawsuit is for negligent infliction of emotional distress which no human being should be subjected to," their attorney, Barry Goldberg, said. 

In a statement, Mercy Hospital said the doctors followed all correct procedures.

"Jaylen arrived to Mercy after suffering full cardiac arrest for over 25 minutes," the hospital said. "Mercy's ED physicians and clinicians treated Jaylen for an extended period of time following all medical protocols in an attempt to resuscitate him. Despite extensive resuscitative efforts, Jaylen did not immediately regain a pulse and no heart activity was noted for several hours."

The hospital says the decision was made to transfer Jaylen to Comer Children’s Hospital once a pulse was noted.

"While this is a very rare occurrence, extensive resuscitation efforts, medication and young age can result in a patient’s heart function returning spontaneously. We hope for the continued strength for Jaylen."

The parents say the damage to their son caused by those four hours without oxygen is permanent, but they believe they'll see him smile again "in heaven."

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