The mother of a child with Down's syndrome yesterday told the High Court of her devastation on being told her baby's heart defect was inoperable and he might only live to the age of 10.

The mother of a child with Down's syndrome yesterday told the High Court of her devastation on being told her baby's heart defect was inoperable and he might only live to the age of 10.

The High Court in Leeds heard that Maralyn Adey later discovered that surgery with a success rate up to 75 per cent may have been possible for her only child Kristian, now 15, when he was a baby.

Mrs Adey, of Thackley, West Yorkshire, is suing Leeds Health Authority for clinical negligence, claiming Kristian was denied surgery because he had Down's syndrome. Kristian uses a wheelchair, and finds it increasingly difficult to breathe without oxygen equipment.

Mrs Adey told the court that after her son was born Dr David Dickinson, at Killingbeck Hospital in Leeds, told her Kristian had a hole in all four chambers of his heart and the condition was inoperable.

She said she and her husband Alvin were "devastated":"We thought we were going to have to take Kristian home and wait till he was 10 and that was it."

The case continues today.

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