She was 41 weeks along when she went into labour in November 2006.
As planned she called her midwife.
Her labour was strong, and when her midwife arrived at her house she detected foetal heart sounds of between 140 and 158 beats per minute.
She trusted this midwife.
It was just as she wanted – in her home – a place of calm of peace.
A place of trust.
By 2pm she was fully dilated. Her soon to be born son’s head high.
For the next four-and-a-half hours she laboured.
The legal term, in the Supreme Court judgement, for this four-and-a-half hour period has been coined “protracted and complex”.
You can only imagine what the ‘non-legal’ phrases used would have been.
A protracted and complex labour ensued.
To stick with the legalese the “plaintiff’s head” (that would be the newborn baby) descended slowly and, apparently, in a variety of positions.
Louise Hall, covering this story for Fairfax, writes that he was delivered at 6pm, when “thick meconium was noted.”
The Supreme Court judgment goes on “There was considerable difficulty releasing the plaintiff’s shoulders, and eventually the plaintiff was born at 6.50pm.”
To break from the legal jargon now – this was when things went to shit.
This is when the trust – so important in this birth was shattered.
The baby was flat, unresponsive, oxygen was given to him.
He was slow to respond, he had a ruptured umbilical cord and a persistent low temperature.
For more than fifteen hours this midwife failed to care properly for the newborn boy.
This tiny baby – just about to embark upon his life was finally transported by air ambulance to the Royal Hospital for Women.
The very place his mother had tried to avoid.
The very situation the ‘defendant’ had obviously not accounted for.
The very institution that, had he been there in the first place, probably would have changed the course of his life.
Baby Will Pattison was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, diagnosed with a diffuse hypoxic brain injury.
A brain injury that could have been avoided if it wasn’t for this woman, the midwife, Akal Khalsa.
In a devastating blow for his parents he developed cerebral palsy.