Two-year-old Malyia Jeffers had an ever-rising fever and unexpected bruising around her cheeks. Her parents rushed her to a Sacramento emergency room, where they waited for hours even though her condition continued to worsen. Her parents repeatedly begged to get her medical attention but were ignored until her father forced his way into the medical department and demanded help. Five hours after she arrived, Malyia was finally seen by a physician, who saw the seriousness of her situation and had her flown to Stanford hospital. But by then, the damage was done. Streptococcus bacteria had invaded her blood, muscles, and organs; her liver was failing.
In order to save Malyia’s life, doctors had to amputate lower parts of both of her legs, her left hand and part of her right hand.
She will have to adjust to different prosthetics as she grows and deal with ongoing “phantom limb” pain. She likely will face additional surgery.
A financial settlement will cover some of the costs of her ongoing care, but because the outdated 1975 cap on compensation is one-size-fits-all, the Malyia’s lifetime without limbs and her parents struggles to care for her are valued at no more than $250,000.