WAVE 3 TV Louisville, KY :: Parents Say Hospital's Baby Formula Led To Daughter's Brain Damage
"(LOUISVILLE, November 5th, 2004) -- It seems as innocent as the mouths it is fed to: powdered infant baby formula. But WAVE 3 has uncovered evidence powdered formula could lead to serious health problems -- even death -- in some infants. One local family is now suing University of Louisville Hospital because of what happened to their daughter. WAVE 3 Investigator Eric Flack has the exclusive story. From the day she was born, Ashley Hill has been her mother's best friend. "I talk to her every day and I tell her how special she is," said her mom, Rhonda Smith. To her father, Bert Hill, Ashley is daddy's little girl. "I mean when she came out, we was in tears," he said. Ashley was born 9 weeks premature in December of 1999. She weighed just one pound, 13 ounces. But after two months in the neo-natal intensive care unit at University of Louisville Hospital, Rhonda Smith says her daughter went home in good condition. Her parents thought Ashley's struggles were over. But they were just beginning. Ashley, now four years old, may never walk, talk or feed herself. The result of severe brain damage caused by meningitis she got days after leaving the hospital. Her parents blame University Hospital for what happened. "They robbed her of her life," Rhonda Smith said. A baby gift pack given to them by the hospital contained powdered baby formula. "She was on the powdered formula when she got sick," Smith said. Now, Attorney Nick Stein says there was clear cut evidence before Ashley was born, that bacteria in powdered formula can cause serious illness, including meningitis, in babies with weak immune systems..."