Case study delayed thymus transplant causes babys death
The case:

Delayed Thymus Transplant Causes Baby’s Death

Last Updated: 26th Apr 2024
Delayed Treatment Claims

Baby B tragically passed away due to a failure to identify and address his missing thymus gland until it was too late. Learn how we helped secure the justice, answers and compensation the family deserved after this devastating experience.

Tami Frankel - Solicitor and Partner at Gadsby Wicks
Solicitor and Partner
Tami Frankel


Baby B was diagnosed with DiGeorge syndrome while his mother was pregnant with him. DiGeorge syndrome is a rare syndrome and sufferers may have any of several symptoms and problems. Therefore, following his birth Baby B was kept under regular surveillance by the local paediatrician.

From the age of about three months, Baby B became more and more unwell. In particular, he developed rashes all over his body, he failed to thrive or to feed and developed several respiratory infections requiring hospitalisation. At nine months of age, Baby B developed pneumonia and an ultrasound scan showed that he did not have a thymus gland. He was therefore transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in preparation for a thymus transplant. The transplant went ahead a couple of months later. However, Baby B was very unwell and sadly died two weeks after that surgery at the age of 14 months.

A lack of thymus is one of the possible problems for any child suffering from DiGeorge syndrome. However, despite several worsening symptoms pointing to this, it was not noted until Baby B’s condition was too poor for him to be saved. The claim was pursued on the basis that if Baby B had undergone a thymus transplant at any point up to 10 months of age, it would have been a success and Baby B would have survived.


The Defendant admitted some breaches of duty and eventually the delayed treatment claim was settled before the issue of proceedings for £40,000 – being £12,980 for the bereavement award, £20,000 for Baby B’s pre-death pain and suffering, and £17,020 for general damages.

This case was led by Tami Frankel.

NOTE: While our case studies are designed to give an indication of the outcomes that can be achieved in these circumstances, the compensation awarded in medical negligence cases can vary significantly due to a range of factors, including effects on life expectancy, the severity of the negligence that took place, and the financial impact.

If you have been affected by similar events to those outlined here, we can help seek justice on your behalf.

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