'DEVASTATING INJURY': Mum sues hospital after son’s surgery


A Queensland mum is suing Queensland Children's Hospital (QCH) for negligence claiming that she has been traumatised by the alleged incompetence of a surgeon, who she says cut healthy tissue from her two-year-old son causing a "devastating injury to his airway".

Lisa Joy Yaxley, 41, from Mount Warren Park, south of Brisbane, has filed her claim in the District Court in Brisbane seeking damages for nervous shock and anguish.

She claims that the conditions were caused by the ­negligence of QCH paediatric surgeon Kelvin Choo and/or his surgical assistant during the operation on her son Louie Keith Yaxley, now aged five.

Ms Yaxley claims that she developed chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, a major depressive episode and panic disorder after her son's surgery.

She claims that Dr Choo and his assistant were supposed to be removing a thyroglossal duct cyst on November 27, 2017.


Louie Keith Yaxley.
Louie Keith Yaxley.



But Ms Yaxley claims that instead they mistakenly removed an anterior portion of the thyroid cartilage, causing defect in the front of his airway. The claim states that Dr Choo and his assistant mistook the thyroid cartilage for "what they thought was hyoid bone".

Once the alleged airway defect was detected, a specialist ear, nose and throat surgeon was called to the operating theatre to insert a vertical ­tracheostomy, with a laryngeal reconstruction with insertion of a 4.5 laryngeal stent, the claim states.

"A reasonably competent paediatric surgeon should be able to identify the difference between thyroid cartilage and the hyoid bone," the claim states.

"Dr Choo did not provide appropriate instructions to the Surgeon Fellow (surgical assistant) during the procedure and failed to prevent them from removing the thyroid cartilage," the claim states.

The claim also said that Dr Choo should have asked the surgical fellow to "show him the thyroid cartilage without any doubt before removing the hyoid bone".

Ms Yaxley claims that she can no longer work the hours that she could before her son's operation and she has suffered a loss of wages and needs medical treatment for her PTSD, depression and panic disorders.

She has not yet specified the amount of damages she is seeking for her losses.

This is expected to be disclosed as the case progresses.

Ms Yaxley's solicitor Joshua Brown told The Courier-Mail that she did not wish to make any comment on her case.

No defence has been filed and no hearing date has been set.



Originally published as Mum sues over son's surgery

Lisa Joy Yaxley has filed a lawsuit after the surgery on her son.
Lisa Joy Yaxley has filed a lawsuit after the surgery on her son.