Wesley White was diagnosed with a brain injury following a difficult birth in Prince George. He is currently in a support sitting chair. (Submitted Photo/Kristy White)

Wesley White was diagnosed with a brain injury following a difficult birth in Prince George. He is currently in a support sitting chair. (Submitted Photo/Kristy White)

Nisga’a woman plans to file lawsuit against Northern Health

Kristy White alleges racism, malpractice at Prince George hospital left her child with brain damage

A Nisga’a woman plans to file a lawsuit against Northern Health related to the treatment she received while giving birth to her baby last summer at the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.

Kristy White alleges that due to racism and mismanagement during her delivery, her child Wesley suffered a brain injury.

White said that her baby was in a transverse position and she was 37 weeks pregnant when she arrived in Prince George to deliver the baby on June 17, 2020.

She alleges that a nurse made racially insensitive comments, and kept her and Wesley’s father Warren alone for nearly her entire shift on June 18.

White said that the nurse’s comments started when she was trying to have a conversation with her about traditional Indigenous foods.

“When we were trying to explain it to her, she’s like, ‘I don’t understand why you people do those kinds of things,’ and she wrinkled her nose, threw her hands in the air,” White said.

She would often say ‘Indians’ like she’s being biased towards me.”

White alleges that the nurse did not include her in any decisions about her care, and when a doctor instructed the nurse to increase the dose of oxytocin, the nurse initially refused to do so, resulting in White being unable to become fully dilated.

“You know how somebody who’s caring and compassionate and trying to help you get through something like a nurse normally would, she wasn’t that way, she was very biased,” White said.

“She was very rude, very ignorant. It was hard to have any conversations with her, she wouldn’t let me speak for myself.”

Doctors attempted a vacuum-assisted delivery, which White claims to have caused the infant to suffer injuries. On May 3, 2021, a neurologist at the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver diagnosed Wesley with brain bleeds, and White said the neurologist told her the damage was likely due to the vacuum-assisted birth.

According to White, Wesley is behind his physical development by around six months and requires physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy as well as trips to the BC Children’s Hospital every three months.

After the birth, the Whites submitted a complaint to Northern Health’s Patient Care Quality Office. Northern Health determined that racism did not play a role in the nurse’s actions.

But the agency did acknowledge in an August 2020 email sent to Kristy White that there was a disagreement between the nurse and doctor, resulting in the medical team not functioning effectively and that management was working with the nurse to “ensure she understands the impact of her actions and that she will become a more effective team player in the future.”

White has also submitted a complaint to the College of BC Nursing Professionals and is now working with Pacific Medical Law, a Vancouver-based firm specializing in medical malpractice and birth injury. She said she plans to file a lawsuit in the coming months after obtaining all of Wesley’s medical records.

“I’ve kept quiet because I’m not the type of person to be public about my life and what I’m going through – my focus is Wesley, it’s always going to be Wesley.”

“I don’t want this to happen to anybody else. I’m speaking out because there needs to be a change.”

Northern Health said in a statement that it cannot comment on specific patient experiences to protect their privacy, but that there was a quality of care complaint investigated when concerns were raised in June 2020 and the results were provided to the complainant.

“Anyone who is unsatisfied with the response or outcome from a health authority Patient Care Quality Office investigation, also has the option of contacting the Patient Care Quality Review Board for an independent review,” the statement reads.

“Northern Health strives to support a health care system that is culturally safe for Indigenous people; we are committed to providing a work and care environment that is characterized by respectful behaviour, and free from discrimination, bullying and harassment. We know that the vast majority of our staff and care providers share this commitment, and provide culturally safe care every day – and we also know there is more work to be done.”

READ MORE: Kitimat hospital care review result won’t be made public

Northern Healthracism

Just Posted

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Hirsch Creek Golf Course Volunteer, Augie Penner, talking about how he continues the tradition, set by Joe Atamchuck, to catch and release fry that keep spawning at the course. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
VIDEO: Kitimat golf course volunteers making moves for the fishlings

During the highwater season, salmon are known to lay their eggs in the ponds at the golf course

Ocean Wise’s cetacean photogrammetry research program uses aerial images collected by boat-launched drones to measure the body condition of whales. (Ocean Wise Marine Mammal License MML-18 photo)
LNG Canada commits $750K to whale research, conservation initiative

Ocean Wise education team will work alongside educational and Indigenous leaders in the area

The Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be closed from June 28 until September 13 for annual facility maintenance as well as teach pool and decking repairs. (Black Press photo)
Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre closed: June 28 – September 13

The aquatic centre will be closed for annual facility maintenance

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read