Le­gal bat­tle con­tin­ues over hole in the heart

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

WHIT­SUN­DAY woman Karen Chit­tle­bor­ough is speaking out so no other fam­ily has to go through what she has been through.

Car­ry­ing gro­ceries to her kitchen from the car, hang­ing out the wash­ing and even short walks with the kids are now dif­fi­cult tasks for the Air­lie Beach mother of three.

De­spite Queens­land Health doc­u­ments, dated 2004, in­di­cat­ing she had a 12mm hole in her heart, she was un­aware of her med­i­cal con­di­tion un­til 14 months ago.

"It's ex­tremely frus­trat­ing," she said.

"Even if I am meet­ing my friends for lunch, af­ter­wards I will have to lie down and rest.

"I am only 40 years old; it shouldn't have to be this way."

Be­cause her med­i­cal con­di­tion was left un­treated, her other or­gans have had to share the load, and she now faces the pos­si­bil­ity of a heart and lung trans­plant to pro­long her life.

Shine Lawyers is cur­rently col­lect­ing ev­i­dence to build a case to sue Queens­land Health for $2.26mil­lion.

On Fri­day night Ms Chit­tle­bor­ough was in­ter­viewed on na­tional news pro­gram A Cur­rent Af­fair.

Her emo­tional story has now reached the homes of fam­i­lies Aus­tralia-wide.

She said she was speaking out about her ex­pe­ri­ences so the sit­u­a­tion would never be re­peated.

"I know ev­ery­one makes mis­takes," she said.

“We are only hu­man. But ob­vi­ously there was a break­down in the sys­tem ... I want to make sure there is a bet­ter sys­tem for my kids."

Shine Lawyers part­ner Wendy Nix­son has been help­ing build her case.

"All of this could have been avoided. Had Karen been told about the de­fect and had it been prop­erly treated, the dam­age to her heart and lungs, the need for a trans­plant and her re­duced life ex­pectancy could have been avoided," she said.

Queens­land Health was un­able to com­ment on the is­sue due to le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

Ms Chit­tle­bor­ough is in Bris­bane again this week for fur­ther med­i­cal tests.

IN BAT­TLE: Karen Chit­tle­bor­ough is cur­rently in­volved in le­gal ac­tion against the state govern­ment.

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