Cynthia Williams, a 40-year-old Illinois mother of three, was just 12 years old when she lost her right ovary to a cyst. That was the same day she found out that she carried the sickle cell trait — a genetic abnormality that could cause a dangerous blood disorder in her future kids.
The man Williams married years later found out that he also carried the trait after the couple's second son was born with sickle cell disease.
Because the odds were stacked against them, the couple decided not to have more children, but just four years later Williams became pregnant again while using the rhythm method of birth control. While there was a 25 percent chance the baby would have sickle cell, luck was with the family this time. The baby girl was born a carrier, but didn't have the disorder herself. Cynthia started taking birth control pills, but high blood pressure forced her to look for a more permanent solution.
She had sterilization surgery — a tubal ligation — in December 2008. Without her right ovary, Williams only needed her left Fallopian tube tied. According to medical records, Cynthia's surgeon Dr. Byron Rosner of Reproductive Health Associates tied, excised, and cauterized William’s right tube, while the left tube was left intact and "normal in appearance."
Six months later, she was pregnant again. This baby, whom the couple named Kennadi, was born with sickle cell disease. The now four-year-old faces a lifetime of health problems, and the family is suing the doctor.
Williams is seeking damages for "personal injury, emotional distress, and for lost wages" as well as for "the extraordinary expenses" she expects to incur raising Kennadi. This Wrongful Pregnancy Suit claims that Dr. Rosner failed to perform an adequate or appropriate full tubal ligation, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy and the birth of a sick child.