The court heard excruciating testimony with regard to the demise of A.J. and Joshua Legge, twin boys who had just turned three years of age when a Marysville otolaryngologist performed routine tonsillectomies on the pair. As summarized in the August 10th edition of the Columbus Dispatch, all went well and the boys were sent home later that same day, April 18th, 2006.
It was just after midnight the next day when A.J. stopped breathing and was rushed to hospital. A neighbor stayed with the remaining children (twin Joshua and an older brother) while A.J.'s parents went with their son to hospital. Joshua seemed fine at the time.
Doctors fought valiantly to save the child, but were unsuccessful. Incredibly, within minutes of A.J.'s death, a 911 call came in from the neighbor to say that Joshua, too, had stopped breathing.
Joshua Legge died on April 21st, 2006.
During testimony in the medical negligence case, doctors testified that both boys had a history of snoring and trouble breathing when asleep. The defendant testified that the twins suffered from an underlying, undetected pre-existing condition that prevented them from adequately processing the pain medication prescribed to ease their discomfort following surgery.
Those complications served to stop their breathing. Cause of death was listed as cerebral edema, or fluid on the brain.
The defendant, Dr. Fred Leess, testified in the medical malpractice lawsuit that he had, indeed been told about the twins' breathing problems but didn't believe it to be dangerous.
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In a tragic postscript, Shannon Legge—the twins' father—implored paramedics to go back and fetch Joshua immediately following the death of his twin, realizing that Joshua suffered from the same breathing problems as A.J. and had endured the same surgery, at the same. He suspected Joshua might have been in danger. The 911 call from the neighbor came in while the ambulance was rushing back to the house.
The jury in the medical malpractice claim deliberated for five hours at the end of a two-week trail in Union County Common Pleas Court before finding the matter to be a doctor mistake, and awarding the plaintiffs $2 million.
The doctor involved can appeal the damage award.