KINGS COUNTY HOSPITAL PUTS OVER A HALF A MILLION DOLLAR PRICE TAG ON LAVERNE WILKINSON'S LIFE

By: Indhira Benitez

As reported recently in the news, Kings County Hospital has been receiving extensive attention from the media for negligently sending 41-year-old Brooklyn mother, Laverne Wilkinson, home with a clean bill of health.

Laverne Wilkinson was given 6 months to live, which to Laverne can seem even shorter, in respects to being able to witness her autistic and mute daughter, Micalia, grow up. Wilkinson found out in May that a lingering cough that doctors were treating for two years as if it were asthma was actually lung cancer. As a result, Wilkinson, 41, accepted a negligence settlement of $625,000.

It is believed that the Brooklyn mother could have received $10 million dollars or more if she had taken her doctors to court in another state. New York's statute of limitations for filing suit against a city hospital expires a year and three months after the medical error occurs. After paying her lawyers, Wilkinson will keep about $425,000. The money will go into a trust for her severely disabled daughter. Unfortunately, the cost for taking care of someone with Micalia's disabilites can cost up to $150,000 a year. Seeing as how Micalia is only 15, there is a possibility that she will have exhausted her funds by the time she reaches the age of 20.

Wilkinson's main concern, as would be any mothers, is the well being of her daughter, Micalia. If Wilkinson succumbs to her cancer, Gloria O'Connor, her aunt, will take care of Micalia. O'Connor is a 61-year-old breast cancer survivor. She worries about what will happen to the teen if her mom passes away.

"What I worry about in the long run is that Micalia will just end up in the system - in a state facility when I am too old or can't take care of her anymore," O'Connor said. "I am scared to death she will be abused or not well taken care of the way she is now. I love Micalia, but my love is a grand auntie's love, not the love of a mother. That cannot be replaced. I worry for that child."

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