Doctor Told Her She Couldn't Get Pregnant. She Did, Now She's Suing

Though she says she can't imagine life without her daughter
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2016 4:28 PM CDT
Updated Jul 2, 2016 3:45 PM CDT

"She's full of life, loving, kind, sweet, everything you could ever imagine," Lori Cichewicz describes her 5-year-old daughter, Reagan, to WXYZ. But the 50-year-old from Oakland County, Mich., worries about the financial strain and other issues involved in raising a child with special needs (Reagan was born with Down syndrome), as well as whether she'll be around to celebrate all of Reagan's milestones as she gets older—and she's now suing her doctor for damages for what she says was a pregnancy that shouldn't have happened in the first place. Per Fox 2, Cichewicz went to get her fallopian tubes tied in 2008 as a permanent birth-control measure, but her doctor informed her that her tubes were blocked and that surgery was unnecessary—in fact, he said, she could go without any contraception from that point forward and not worry about getting pregnant.

Fast-forward about three years, when a shocked Cichewicz found out she was pregnant with Reagan. A Michigan appeals court ruled last week that while Cichewicz can't sue for funds to cover raising a child with Down syndrome, she can file a complaint to be compensated for the emotional stress of the unplanned pregnancy, per the AP. "[The doctor's advice] misled Lori and caused her to ... make a decision that she never should have had to make," her lawyer tells WXYZ, while a Fox 2 legal analyst says she likely has a solid case, calling it "very close to ... medical malpractice." The case is expected to go to trial later this year. Not that the outcome of the suit will affect how Cichewicz feels about her daughter. "I can't imagine life without her now," she tells WXYZ. "When they say having a child with special needs is a gift, it's a gift." (Read about why a woman in her 20s chose to have her tubes tied.)

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