Billie Jo Sayers went to IU Health’s Ball Memorial Hospital for an abdominal infection in 2010, but she left the hospital with permanent inner ear damage that led to hearing loss and balance problems.
A judge, with the help of medical experts who testified, agreed that the hospital gave Sayers nine times more Gentamicin than they should have – and while the antibiotic was intended to treat her abdominal infection, the sheer quantity she was given was inappropriate.
Sayers walked away with $1.7 million in damages, and the verdict was nearly 5 years coming.
Shenow faces the uphill battle of treatment and care for her inner ear damage, which could include hearing aids and the use of emerging medical technologies. While there is currently no way to repair a damaged inner ear, researchers have identified promising ways to restore hearing loss in mice. However, those treatments are still being tested (and not in humans).