Girl blames Children’s Hospital Colorado for amputated leg

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LAKEWOOD, CO-- When 7-year-old Shweta Broberg underwent surgery at Children's Hospital of Colorado in November of 2016, she never expected she would eventually have her entire left leg amputated.

"What was supposed to be a four to five day stay in the hospital, we were there for two months," said the girl's mother Joelle Broberg, who has since filed a Notice of Claim to sue the hospital.

When Joelle Broberg adopted her daughter from India in 2015, she always knew her daughter would need surgery because of a birth defect that made Shweta's left leg considerably shorter than her right leg, a disorder known as Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD).

But the single mother says doctors at Children's Hospital only made her daughter's condition worse.

"The goal always was to give her the most mobility and give her the best quality of life despite having a limb difference," said Broberg.

Instead, Broberg said a Rotation Plasty procedure went wrong because of a blood clot she felt doctors failed to discover in a timely manner.

Broberg said it was obvious the moment her daughter came out of surgery something had gone wrong, yet she said doctors downplayed the lack of blood flow to her daughter's  leg.

"By the next morning there was clearly something wrong with her leg. It was turning blue and purple and cold," said Broberg, before adding, "It was literally cold to the touch."

Joelle told the Problem Solvers the medical team at Children's Hospital waited nearly 24-hours to take her daughter back for corrective surgery and by the time they did, the blood clot had done permanent damage.

The original plan had been to do two procedures at once.

First, fix her daughter's hip and then flip Shweta's left leg 180 degrees to use her left foot and ankle joint as her knee so that she would be a "Below the Knee Amputee" giving her more mobility than a mechanical knee would.

Broberg said doctors told her doing both procedures at the same time would save her daughter from undergoing two different surgeries and two different recoveries,"What was being told to me, you would save your child this suffering."

Investigative Reporter Rob Low asked Broberg, "Did you? No," responded Broberg.

Eventually, Broberg  transferred her daughter to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Sacramento, California where she said doctors had no choice but to amputate Shweta's entire left leg.

When asked why she felt compelled to leave Children's Hospital Colorado, Broberg said, "I didn't  trust them at that point...I didn't trust the decision making."

The former school principal said her daughter's health declined the entire time she was at Children's Hospital Colorado, "Her nutrition was going down, she was having multiple infections."

"This family deserves explanations. They deserve answers about what happened," said attorney James Avery, who filed the Notice of Claim on behalf of the Broberg family.

"The decision making in this case sounds like it was motivated by a desire to train one of the surgeons who was in training at the hospital, said Avery, before adding, "When things started to go bad, this surgical team circled the wagons and kept other specialists away."

Now 9 years old, Shweta has adapted remarkably well to only having one leg.  Thanks to a prosthetic leg on her left side, the third-grader can be seen on home videos dancing, rock climbing and even wake boarding.

"She`s an amazing girl, but she`s a very different girl from who she was before," said her mother Joelle Broberg, noting, "She really endured a lot of trauma."

A spokeswoman for Children's Hospital Colorado told FOX31 its policy is not to discuss a case if a patient or family member has filed a Notice of Claim, which is a legal step taken in some medical malpractice cases before a lawsuit is officially filed.

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