In November 2019, Seattle Children’s Hospital issued a press statement that 14 of its patients had been sickened and six had died due to Aspergillus mold on its premises since 2001.
Stritmatter Kessler Koehler Moore and the John Layman Law Firm filed a Class Action Complaint on December 2, 2019, against Seattle Children’s Hospital on behalf of the child patients who became infected by Aspergillus mold after they were hospitalized between the late 1990s through 2019.
The complaint alleges:
- that hospital administrators failed to maintain a safe environment for the patients;
- the doctors and nurses who provided care to the child patients did not know that the hospital premises were unsafe,
- that transmission of Aspergillus was Seattle Children’s Hospital’s fault.
This is the story of child patient A.H. whose case has now been resolved.
In 2014, 16-year-old A.H. was diagnosed with a brain tumor during her last year of high school. Surgery to remove the tumor was successfully performed by doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital on November 8, 2014. After a week in the hospital, she returned to her home in Wenatchee to be with her daughter, J. Upon returning home A.H. developed terrible headaches, confusion, dizziness, and fatigue. The day after Thanksgiving, A.H. left her home for the last time and went to the emergency room.
A.H. was deteriorating rapidly and was airlifted from the emergency room back to Seattle Children’s Hospital on November 25, 2014. On December 2, 2014, the formal diagnosis was made of an Aspergillus infection. The family was scared, confused, and repeatedly asked where the infection came from. They were only told that there was an “extensive hospital review of this.”
A.H.’s mother, fearing that A.H. might not survive, knew they needed to bring A.H.’s daughter over to Seattle. A.H.’s daughter was only two and had been repeatedly asking for her mommy. The toddler arrived on the 9th. A.H. was unable to speak or physically respond to her daughter, but when her daughter was laid upon her chest tears streamed down her face. Shortly after that A.H. became unresponsive. Her daughter hugged her mom scared and confused. This was the last time she would see her mother.
A.H. was declared brain dead on December 26, 2014, at the age of 17. A.H.’s parents and boyfriend surrounded her at her bedside as she was taken off of ventilation.
A.H. leaves behind her heartbroken family and her daughter, J. J regularly asks about A.H. and doesn’t understand why she can’t be with her. J is being raised by her grandparents. She will grow up without her loving mother.