EMOTIONAL ROLLER-COASTER: Rockhampton?s Jess Madigan.
EMOTIONAL ROLLER-COASTER: Rockhampton?s Jess Madigan.

Jess?s hour of agony after blunder



JESS Madigan sobbed as she recalled how a hospital "mix-up'' left her believing her unborn child would suffer with Down's syndrome.

The Rockhampton mum-to-be said she was "devastated'' when a Rockhampton Hospital midwife delivered the bombshell by phone on Wednesday.

"It was like having my heart ripped out in the space of 30 seconds,'' Ms Madigan said yesterday. "I'm not saying I would have got rid of it. I would have had the baby and loved it.''

Desperate for more information, she drove straight to the hospital where another mid-wife allegedly said: "You're not going to believe this, it was all a big mistake.''

"I had hundreds of thousands of things going through my mind.''

Ms Madigan said it had been the worst hour of her life.

A Queensland Health spokesman yesterday said a Rockhampton Hospital investigation found the mistake happened because Ms Madigan provided the wrong due date.

Ms Madigan, who is between 15 and 16 weeks pregnant with her first child, strongly refutes this.

A Queensland Health spokes- man said tests showed the baby was at an elevated risk.

Ms Madigan said there was a history of spina bifida in her family.

The spokesman said: "A midwife left a message for Jess on (Wednesday) to attend an appointment at 2pm that day.

"Jess did not ring back or turn up for the appointment. "The midwife contacted Jess again that day ... (the) midwife did not say the baby had an abnormality, but that the screening test results came back with a slightly increased risk of Down's syndrome and they needed to discuss them with her.

"While on the phone Jess asked several times if there was something wrong with the baby and was told several times no, not necessarily, just an increased risk. She was told to come to an appointment on Friday.''

He said that at this point Ms Madigan went straight to the hospital where it was discovered a mistake had been made and Jess was not "high risk''.



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