Family Sues Hospital for Negligence After Daughter Left Brain-Damaged

The parents of a teenager who has been in a vegetative state since a routine medical procedure allegedly went awry have filed a lawsuit against the hospital where their daughter underwent the procedure.

In January, Giulio Ferraro took his daughter, 19-year-old Raina Ferraro, to Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. after she complained of stomach pains. She underwent an endoscopy, a procedure where a small camera is inserted into the throat.

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges that 20 minutes into the procedure, things went wrong.

"Her heart rate, her blood pressure caused a brain injury because of lack of oxygen to the brain that could have been prevented," said Ira Newman, the Ferraros' attorney.

Ferraro and his wife, Iris, are accusing the hospital and two doctors of negligence and carelessness.

"You go to a hospital to get better," he said. "Never imagine the fact that you're gonna walk into a hospital and you don't have your daughter anymore."

Raina Ferraro, a former college freshman and cheerleader, is now unable to move, see or communicate. Her condition is irreversible and she is in a long-term care facility.
The amount the Ferraros are seeking is unspecified, but they say that caring for their daughter has drained their finances.

A spokesman for Phelps Memorial declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality laws.

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