Fragile X – Eastbury family reach settlement with IVF clinic over boys inheritance Issue:
The parents of two boys who inherited an intellectual disability say they can move on with their lives now they have reached a settlement with a Sydney IVF clinic – Genea. An agreement was reached with IVF Clinic, formerly known as Sydney IVF, after Leighee Eastbury filed a lawsuit claiming they failed to identify she was a carrier of the Fragile X syndrome.
Fragile X is a genetic syndrome which causes intellectual disabilities and behavioural challenges.
The Supreme Court heard that in 1999 she approached her doctor to determine if she was a carrier of the syndrome – she specifically requested the test because her uncle had Fragile X and women are known to pass down the gene.
Testing by the clinic determined Ms Eastbury was not a carrier and after she married, she had two sons Hayden and Jacob with her husband Philip Eastbury.
Hayden, who is now six years old and Jacob, now nine, both inherited the Fragile X syndrome and have intellectual disabilities.
“Mentally it’s quite draining with the kids. We love our kids, they’re beautiful, I suppose we just want an outcome.”
While the details of the settlement are confidential, Ms Eastbury is pleased with the outcome.
“I am ecstatic, it is fantastic, we’re really happy … we can move forward with our lives which is all we wanted,” she said outside the court.
Leighee’s husband Philip Eastbury said they could now move on with loving their boys.
“Yeah we’re just thankful obviously for our great legal team, they’ve done a great job, it just means we can get on now with looking after our boys and knowing we’ve got some financial security for the years to come.”
Ms Eastbury had earlier told the court the boys required a lot of attention and would probably never be able to care for themselves.
The defence had raised questions about whether Genea was asked to carry out the right test by the pathology clinic that took Ms Eastbury’s blood.
Lawyers for Genea had also argued her GP did not properly scrutinise the tests.
Mr Eastbury said the boys were at a mainstream school in a support unit but were a “handful” to manage outside of hours.
“They’re good boys but a lot of hard work for Leighee and I,” he said.
Hayden and Jacob’s parents said it was difficult to say in hindsight whether or not they would have children had they known Leighee carried the gene.
“It’s very hard to say in hindsight because we’ve got two boys that we love,” Mr Eastbury said.
“All we know is that we love our boys and we miss out on things a typical family would. No amount of money will turn back the hands of time.”
News and Image Resource – abc.net.au, November 13, 2017