‘Fighting for his life’: Mother claims local hospital made mistake after newborn’s heart surgery

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A baby boy was born with a heart condition in November 2019 and needed surgery, but his mother claims hospital staff at Atrium made major mistakes that caused her son to lose several organs.

Messiah was only a few days old when doctors operated on his heart.

After the surgery, he had trouble taking a bottle so his mother, Shytilya Springs, said the hospital staff at Atrium inserted a feeding tube. Within days, Messiah’s condition took a serious turn.

“Where you afraid you son would die?" Channel 9′s Allison Latos asked.

“Yes, he is still fighting for his life,” Springs responded.

She said doctors discovered the feeding tube had pierced Messiah’s intestines and the nutrition they gave him leaked through.

“Do you think they’re at fault?” Latos asked.

“Yes, I do,” Springs said.

Attorney Charles Monnett filed a lawsuit against Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Healthcare System and the medical staff.

“Once you put all the food into his abdomen, you either increase the pressure which compromised blood flow or the chemical reaction between the food products and his intestines caused the tissue breakdown. So, his stomach and intestines became necrotic. Essentially, they died. It became necessary to remove them to save his life,” Monnett said.

Springs said she is suing because care for the rest of her son’s life could cost nearly $20 million. It’s treatment she said Messiah needs to survive, but she can’t afford.

“Will he ever taste food? Will he ever eat?” Latos asked Springs.

“As of right now, no," she responded.

Doctors at Duke are trying to determine if Messiah could be a candidate for an intestinal transplant. If not, he will be hooked up to a machine and unable to ever eat or drink.

Channel 9 reached out to Atrium on Monday asked them for a response or comment to the claims in the lawsuit. The have not responded to our questions, but did respond in court, denying wrongdoing.

It’s not just the medical providers Messiah’s family is suing. The lawsuit names Republican House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Phil Berger. That’s because right now, there is a cap on the amount of money Messiah could get for physical and emotional pain -- that’s $560,000.

“What is your hope as his mom?” Latos asked.

“I want him to be better," Springs responded.