The struggle against birth defects has seen many celebrities and politicians step up to inform the public about potential causes. Now a quarterback bound for the Super Bowl can be added to the list. Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, has another focus: a camp for children born with heart defects.
Camp Taylor was formed near Turlock, California after Kimberlie Gambino gave birth to a son with half a heart. As her son grew up, Gambino realized that he could not keep up physically with other children from school, and that he needed a place where he could interact with children who were like him. There was no such place in Northern or Central California, so Gambino created one. Her camp attracted Kaepernick, who grew up in Turlock, in part because Kaepernick himself had two older siblings who died of heart defects shortly after their birth. Kaepernick's parents later adopted him when he was five weeks old.
According to Gambino, Kaepernick has not only made at least one donation to the camp, but he also visited and met with the children. Last July, he attended a heart education class, and otherwise spent six hours playing, swimming, and being climbed on by the 150 children in attendance. Once Kaepernick became the starting quarterback for the 49ers, he began inviting camp children to games, and has donated some of the proceeds from his "Kaepernicking" T-shirts to the camp. Now that Kaepernick is Super Bowl-bound, Camp Taylor's profile will continue to rise, and hopefully more camps like it will be formed.
While it is encouraging to see programs set up to help children with heart defects, it is still better if birth defects could be avoided altogether. Heart defects have a variety of different causes, including environmental factors. For instance, heart defects have been linked to use of certain antiepileptic medications, like Depakote. Depakote has been labeled by the Food and Drug Administration as pregnancy Category D, which means that there is some risk to human fetuses associated with taking the medication.
If your child has a heart defect that you believe is due to your taking Depakote while pregnant, you have the option of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit and/or a product liability lawsuit. For the medical malpractice suit against your physician, you would argue that your physician had a duty to inform you of all of the risks associated with Depakote, but failed to do so. As a result, you were exposed to the medication while pregnant, and your child was born with a birth defect. For a product liability suit against the manufacturer, you would argue that the manufacturer had a duty to consumers to create as safe a drug as possible, but instead created a drug that was unreasonably dangerous. As a result, you were exposed to the drug while pregnant, and your child was born with a birth defect.
The birth defect attorneys at Oshman & Mirisola, LLP have successfully represented clients in birth defect lawsuits for more than 35 years. If your child suffers from a birth defect that you believe could be due to your taking Depakote while pregnant, please contact us today by calling (800) 400-8182, or submit our online Contact Us form.