A YOUNG girl who was left severely disabled after chatting midwives bungled her birth is jetting to the US on Friday this week in a bid to reverse the damage.
Tragic Jessica Penny, aged 5, was starved of oxygen after Lyn Foy and Donna Jack missed out on numerous checks during her delivery, failing to notice the unborn baby’s heart rate dropping.
Now Jessica, who is unable to stand unaided and has a vocabulary of just six words, is going to America for an operation to relieve the effects of cerebral palsy.
Her parents, Lynne and Colin Penny from Rutherglen, near Glasgow, have raised £85,000 to fly Jessica to Saint Louis, Missouri for the dorsal rhizotomy operation.
The actions of Foy and Jack, who were both struck of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register last year, were described by Jessica’s mother, Lynne, as an “assault”.
She said her daughter has been left needing constant care while she herself required counselling and anti-depressants.
Her parents are now hoping that highly-specialised surgery on Jessica’s spine will be successful in reversing the symptoms of her cerebral palsy, which she was diagnosed with shortly after her birth.
The operation involves cutting damaged nerves from Jessica’s spine which will help increase mobility in her muscles.
Posting on Jessica’s fundraising Facebook page, her father Colin described Jessica as his “wee fighter.”
He wrote: “The hard work with fundraising has now come to the point of no return.
“We fly out this Friday for our wee fighter Jessica to shine through and show us there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck our precious and loving daughter you mean more to us than words describe.
“Jessica when you read this when you are older you will realise that we are doing it for you’re chance for a better life. Me you’re Mum and Emily love you more than you could ever imagine. Good luck darling.”
Midwives Foy and Jack were struck off by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) last year over bungled the birth at the Princess Royal Maternity Unit, Glasgow, on August 27, 2007.
The charges against Lyn Foy, all of which she admitted, included failing to check the foetal heart rate during labour, failing to keep proper records and failing to contact a doctor when she noticed Jessica was in a poor condition.
The NMC said Foy, who now works in a drug crisis unit in Glasgow, had a previously unblemished 22-year career, was very “traumatised” by what had happened, and remorseful.
But the panel concluded that the misconduct was so serious that it would “be wholly inappropriate not to make a finding of impairment”.
And they struck Foy off because of a significant risk of her repeating the behaviour.
The hearing also found Donna Jack, a registered midwife since December 1989, failed to ensure observations during labour, failed to keep records and failed to call for a doctor when baby Jessica was found in a poor condition.
She also failed to communicate effectively with other team members, failed to take adequate steps to resuscitate the baby and failed to commence the resuscitation until Jessica was three minutes old.
During the proceedings, Mrs Penny gave heart-rending evidence to the NMC about the devastating effect of the midwives’ errors.
Of daughter Jessica, she said: “She can’t stand on her own. She can crawl and pull herself up on furniture. She wears splints on both feet every day.
“She’s in a lot of pain at night because she’s tight, we have to do exercises with her. She uses sign language and has six verbal words.”
She added: “It was meant to be one of the happiest days of our lives but it has turned into a tragic event. It has made considering having another child very traumatic.”
Referring to the midwives, she said: “I need to ensure that they’re not given the chance to shatter someone else’s life.
“My baby was compromised in the womb and after her birth by these two women. In our opinion, they harmed Jessica to the point of assault.
The operation in America will help Jessica walk unaided for the first time since her birth.
Her parents have spent the past two years tirelessly fundraising for Jessica to fly to American for the op.
The operation will be carried out by Dr TS Park at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.