Life hadn’t been easy on her. She had achieved many things during her life. But every reward seemed to go hand-in-hand with more suffering.
She knew that the gift of life was a precious and spectacular thing, but life also flooded her with challenges and troubles that could and should have been avoided. She placed all of her trust in the hands of the wrong person and now, he daughter had to fight for her life, every single day.
Caroline Toombes was a 30-year-old U.K resident when she fell pregnant. Because of complications with her health, the experience proved to be difficult. She decided it would be best to get advice from her doctor before taking this big step.
At first, everything seemed to be going well. But she had no idea that one day, she would regret this decision deeply.
If only the doctor could’ve been less reckless with his advice and more thorough. Because of him, Caroline’s excitement for the baby soon faded.
After he told her it was okay for her to “try”, it was all spoiled by some strange and confusing exchanges with him. But he was a doctor and he knew better than her, so she decided to trust him. This decision would haunt her dreams.
The first time she was troubled by him was when he told her to “just keep trying”. She knew that if she kept trying, it would increase her chances of conceiving , but she didn’t like how blunt this advice was.
She decided it was best to shake it off. But unknow to her, his next bit of advice would lead to the course of her life being altered forever.
In this day and age, gynecologists are expected to advice re-expectant, expectant, and pregnant mothers to take a dose of folic acid supplements regularly. These supplements have a wide variety of benefits, one important one being that it prevents fetal complications
Caroline would soon learn that not taking these supplements could result in disastrous situations.
Caroline didn’t know this, so she accepted when her doctor told her that she didn’t have to take any supplements. Just a short while after this, she conceived. Her beautiful daughter, Evie, was born in 2001.
Evie was sadly born with Spina Bifida which meant that for the rest of her life, she was bound to struggle with crippling health complications. But these weren’t the only battles she would have to fight.
Evie has to spend the majority of her time connected to tubes, because of her condition. She struggles to walk and has complications with her bladder and bowels often.
But that wasn’t going to stop the extraordinary Evie. She chose to fight back.
Despite her condition, Evie began her career in horse-riding. She turned out to be a para-showjumper and she was so good at it that she was able to professionally compete in disabled and able-bodied showjumping.
But that didn’t mean that the condition didn’t drastically limit her potential. But she wasn’t afraid of being challenged, and decided to fight for her dignity in the most impressive way.
But this kind of condition does worsen with time, and sooner rather than later, Evie will need a wheelchair. Evie was angry when she learned that the suffering she had to endure could have been averted and decided to seek justice.
She didn’t want anyone else to ever have to experience what she did. The solutions she came up with was considered outrageous by many, but it created history. It also set a brand new legal precedent in the U.K.
Evie took matters to court where she stated that if Caroline had been correctly informed of the benefits of folic acid supplements, she wouldn’t have rushed the pregnancy.
The doctor fought back and stated that his advice was reasonable. This This may have been a run-of-the-mill medical negligence case, but everyone was shocked and wildered by Evie’s true argument.
Caroline’s testimony confirmed that if she had known about folic acid supplements, she would not have rushed to conceive so fast.
Essentially, this meant that Evie’s case was predicated on an argument that the doctor should never have allowed her to be born. The big question remained—how would the court respond to such a radical strategy?
Amazingly, Judge Rosalind Coe, QC, agreed and ruled that had Caroline been advised to take folic acid supplements, she would have delayed pregnancy, “resulting in a normal healthy baby”.
To cap things off, the court awarded Evie millions in compensatory damages. As momentous as this victory has been, it was not the end of her struggles.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Evie has faced new challenges. Unable to consistently gain access to lifesaving intravenous feeding and in-hospital treatments, keeping her condition stable has been an uphill battle ever since.
Evie’s resilience has always been her greatest strength and her effervescent character continues to shine in spite of these problems though.
Through all her adversities, Evie has weathered every storm and come out with some jaw-dropping accomplishments. Her numerous show-jumping awards were just the tip of the iceberg.
Additionally, Evie has also been recognized with a British Citizen Youth Award and is regularly featured in the prestigious Horse & Hound magazine. All this was still aside from her biggest accomplishment.
Being such an extraordinary young woman, Evie was presented with a WellChild Award for mentoring children with disabilities, and writing a children’s book.
At the WellChild ceremony, Evie got to meet the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Her story continues to inspire others. In line with her ethos, her motto is to, “find a way, not an excuse.”