THE parents of a toddler who was left severely brain-damaged shortly after he was born have released a video to reach out to families in a similar position.
Michael and Elena Kalisperas of Malvern were overjoyed when son Vasili was born in May 2012, but their delight turned to dismay within days when he fell badly ill.
A student midwife who visited the family unaccompanied by a more senior colleague failed to follow guidelines when Vasili was showing symptoms of jaundice.
He was left with cerebral palsy, deaf, virtually blind and with a form of brain damage called kernicterus. Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has admitted liability for Vasili’s illnesses.
Now Mr and Mrs Kalisperas have released a video, made in association with their law firm JMW Solicitors, to help other parents in the same situation.
Mr Kalisperas, who runs the Barnards Green Fish Bar with his brother said: “What happened to Vasili had changed all our lives. Our home looks like a hospital, with all the medical equipment and the nurses, and we had to spend Christmas in hospital, because Vasili got bronchitis and we were looking after him.
“The video is just to reach out to families that are in the same position as we are and let them know there are other people who know what they are going through and perhaps give them some support.”
Mr Kalisperas is also pressing to have the occurrence of jaundice in newly-born babies classified by the NHS as a ‘never event’, one which should not have happened if proper procedures are followed.
He said: “What I want to do is not throw mud at the NHS, but I need them to take action so this kind of thing doesn’t happen to other families. It’s a never event in the USA, where health care is private, so why can’t it be here, when the NHS is fully funded by the taxpayer.”
Angharad Hughes, a specialist brain injury solicitor at JMW, said: “JMW is helping numerous families across the country who have children with kernicterus brain damage due to medical errors to challenge this poor care.
“Often quite basic steps were not taken suggesting that training and awareness was a key issue, with devastating consequences.
“Vasili’s video captures the personal struggle these families face when trying to come to terms with their child’s serious disabilities and the fact that they were preventable.”
The video can be found at http://www.jmw.co.uk/services-for-you/clinical-negligence/birth-injury-claims/videos/vasili-kalisperas-story/