California toddler to receive $10 million for amputations

Malyia Jeffers was only 2 years old when she was taken to Sacramento's Methodist Hospital in December 2010, after her parents were worried that she was sick. The family of a California toddler whose feet, left hand and part of her right hand were amputated due to emergency room delays, recently agreed to a $10 million medical malpractice settlement, The Associated Press reported.

Malyia Jeffers was only 2 years old when she was taken to Sacramento’s Methodist Hospital in December 2010, after her parents were worried that she was sick. The couple noticed that she had a fever, skin discoloration and weakness throughout her body, according to the news outlet.

“While in the waiting room, Malyia grew sicker and weaker,” according to the complaint that was filed in February. “The parents of Malyia repeatedly asked and begged (hospital workers) to treat their daughter.”

Instead of giving the girl immediate medical attention, the hospital allegedly forced the parents to wait more than five hours before Malyia was seen by doctors.

“Ryan Jeffers and Leah Yang saw their daughter get weaker and sicker hour after hour as [hospital workers] chose to delay treatment,” the complaint said. “They saw the bruising on her body increase, affecting her legs, arms and face. They were afraid she would die in the waiting room.”

The child was then flown to Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital where doctors found that Streptococcus A bacteria invaded her blood and organs. This development led to the amputations from the medical team, to allegedly prevent further damage, reported the AP.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the settlement was reached due to the admittal of fault, and the money was placed in a trust fund to cover Malyia’s needs. She will also received an annuity upon reaching the age of 18.

According to a previous article from ABC News, the more aggressive types of strep, the streptococcus bacteria, causes an illness that can move from the throat to the bloodstream rapidly. The resulting sepsis can lead to the loss of extremities.

Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician from Austin, Texas, told the news source that blood clotting is affected if the problem goes untreated for a significant period of time.

“When the bacterial infection goes through the bloodstream, you have sepsis and a problem with your blood clotting ability. As a result, [the infection] cuts off the blood flow to the extremities and those areas die,” Brown told ABC News.