A woman, who was born with a condition that affects the spine, is suing her mum's doctor for allowing her to be born. She is suing the GP for millions of pounds for failing to inform her mother about the importance of folic acid supplements during the pregnancy, an omission she believes is responsible for her condition.
Against The Odds
When Evie Toombes, now 20, was born in 2001, she was diagnosed with a lipomyelomeningocele (LMM), a form of neural tube defect to the spine leading to permanent disability. She was born with spina bifida - a condition in which a baby’s spine and spinal cord fail to develop in the womb.
There are times she has to be connected to tubes for up to 24 hours. In spite of this, Toombes has built a career in showjumping. On her website, Evie shares how the condition has affected her daily life.
I'm disabled, I can't feel my legs from below the knee I catheterize to empty my bladder (since age 3!). I'm tube fed because my stomach doesn't work properly. I have 3-4 hours of gut treatment every single night to keep me alive safely I'm attached to my tube feeds (sometimes 24hrs a day)
A court in London heard that 50-year-old Mrs Toombes, had gone to see Dr Philip Mitchell at the Hawthorn practice to discuss her plans to have a first baby in February 2001.
Her daughter’s lawyer, Susan Rodway told the court:
This was a very precious decision to start a family, because she herself had lost her parents when she was young. They had been refraining from sexual intercourse until after they had received advice at this consultation.
Find A Way Not An Excuse
Rodway argues that if Mrs Toombes had been given the correct advice by her GP, she would have put off the pregnancy for a while longer and given birth to a ‘normal, healthy’ baby’
However, lawyers for Dr. Mitchell denied all claims, saying that he gave ‘reasonable advice’ about the desirability of folic acid supplements being taken.
The court also heard that Evie’s movement is becoming limited, and she will most likely need a wheelchair as she grows older.
The 20-year-old from Skegness, Lincolnshire has appeared on ITV's show Hidden Disabilities: What's The Truth?. She also got the chance to meet the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018 after winning the Inspiration Young Person Award at a charity event.
She likes to create awareness about her condition on her website, which she describes as:
This is a page for me to share my journey, encourage as many people as possible to live their life to the full and #FindaWayNotAnExcuse ..and have some fun on too!