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Delivering Life
Changing Experiences

A Tragedy Without Explanation

A mother finds her son in an unexplainable coma.

When Sonia came to Feldman Shepherd, she was overwhelmed and confused. She wanted answers. Her 35-year-old son, Tom, was in a permanent coma, the reason for which had never been explained to her. In fact, she understood that no cause could be discovered. Sonia knew that Tom recently had fallen and suffered trauma to his head, but that he was improving, talking, and on the road to recovery when he was found unresponsive in his hospital bed. This made no sense to Sonia, since not only had Tom been improving from his head injury, he was also being carefully and continuously monitored for his heartrate, breathing, and oxygen levels, with the presence of alarms that were to signal any deviation from normal.

The medical records lacked any facts leading up to Tom being found unconscious in his bed and no one could provide an explanation. We filed our lawsuit and each and every person in the medical chain of care for Tom was questioned under oath. Some facts slowly began to reveal themselves, but it was not until we took the sworn testimony of the engineer from the company that had manufactured the monitor/alarm that we truly began to discover what had happened to Tom. The engineer interpreted the monitor/alarm’s internal computer codes and explained that the monitor had been signaling that Tom’s oxygen was being gradually cut off, which, as a result, stopped Tom’s heart. These alarms had been sounding for a substantial period of time, but no healthcare personnel had responded to them.

We had finally discovered the proof necessary to lead to a successful result.

In addition to the many depositions we took and the multiple experts we consulted to prove the facts, we also tried to help normalize Tom’s family life as much as we could. Tom had been recently divorced and had been supporting his young son, now left without the presence of his father. Sonia wanted to do what she could for her grandson’s welfare as well as for Tom. Our involvement helped Sonia gain guardianship over Tom’s estate and person, so she could manage his ongoing care, assure that his finances were properly handled and provide for Tom’s son financially while Tom was alive. As Tom’s guardian, she also could arrange for her grandson’s support should Tom pass away.

Following years of groundwork and research, the case was prepared for trial and settled following a mediation. Now, three-and-a-half years later, Tom remains in a coma but continues to receive optimum care in a nursing home. Sonia continues to serve as Tom’s guardian, with access to funds to support Tom’s life care plan, ongoing comprehensive medical and rehabilitative services, and to provide for his son into the future.