When US woman Lori Cichewicz asked her doctor for a tubal ligation back in 2008, he allegedly said she didn’t need the birth control procedure because she couldn’t get pregnant.
The doctor insisted she couldn’t conceive because her fallopian tubes were blocked, Fox 2 Detroit reports.
He even allegedly even told her not to bother using birth control.
So when Cichewicz fell pregnant three years later, she was beyond shocked. She also knew the child would have Down syndrome: medical professionals had told her years before that her child would have the genetic disorder if she ever did conceive.
As Cichewicz explained to WXYZ, there was never any question of terminating the pregnancy once she found out she was pregnant.
So the Michigan woman gave birth to the child, Reagan, in 2011. And while she adores her now five-year-old daughter, she’s suing the doctor for his alleged misguidance.
A Michigan appeals court ruled last week that Cichewicz can't recover funds to cover the costs of raising a child with special needs -- but she's still seeking damages for emotional distress caused by the unplanned pregnancy.
She also told WXYZ she's worried that as an older mother, she wouldn't be around to see her child develop into adulthood.
“I’m older, I don’t know, will I see her graduate college? Will I see her go to college? Will I see her get married? Will I see her graduate high school?," Cichewicz, now 50, said.
"All this is going through my mind."
Her lawyer told WXYZ the doctor's advice was misleading, and "caused her to ... make a decision that she never should have had to make."
Cichewicz is quick to point out that the lawsuit doesn't reflect how she feels about her beloved daughter.
"I can't imagine life without her now," she told WXYZ. "When they say having a child with special needs is a gift, it's a gift."
This is not the first case of its type in the US: In 2012, Oregon couple Ariel and Deborah Levy won a court case for the wrongful birth of their daughter.
The little girl was born with Down syndrome despite a pre-natal test showing she was apparently developing routinely. The couple said they would have aborted had they known of the condition, Mamamia reported at the time.
In Australia, parents can similarly claim compensation for "wrongful birth" -- winning costs for medical expenses, future costs of rearing the child, and pain and suffering during childbirth, for example. But some states' laws limit what may be claimed when the child born is healthy and without disability, Health Law Central reports.
Cichewicz's case is expected to go to a jury trial later this year.