In September 2011, Seattle resident Yesenia Pacheco visited a local Neighborcare clinic for a routine Depo shot (a hormonal form of birth control) which she was due to receive every three months.
But when she returned for her next shot three months after, and clinic workers tested her for pregnancy (a requirement before administering the Depo), they discovered that, against all odds, Pacheco was two and a half months pregnant.
A clinic doctor then informed her that three months before, she had received a flu shot in place of the scheduled Depo shot. Billing records demonstrate the same. The staff were unsure how such a mixup could have occurred.
Pacheco, who already had two children, carried the pregnancy to term.
Today, her three-year-old daughter, Sandra, suffers from a brain malformation called unilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria. The little girl has to take medication twice a day to prevent seizures, and still has to endure them around twice a month, necessitating trips to the emergency room.
As a result, Pacheco is suing the federal government (since the clinic is federally funded) for the cost of her daughter’s care. Her lawyer explained the rationale behind her case:
“The idea is that this young family already had two children. They are migrants to the United States. … They were [already] having difficulty just keeping food on the table for their two young children.”
“We’re not saying she doesn’t love her baby. But the child needs additional services that the family is ill-equipped to handle.”