A medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed by a Haskell High School football player's family against a local pediatrician, who is accused of gross negligence in the treatment and care of the boy in September 2016.

Dr. Kevin Wade and Wade Pediatrics are the defendants in the case filed by Jennifer Thomas "as mother and next friend of R.W., a minor," according to the petition filed in the case on Monday.

The petition alleges Wade treated R.W., who was a 14-year-old freshman at the time, for headaches associated with nausea and vomiting in late August or early September of 2016, and Wade diagnosed the boy with a viral illness.

A subsequent appointment was made after the boy continued to have the symptoms, and Wade's nurse practitioner ordered a CT scan of the brain, which revealed a cystic lesion within the left temporal fossa, possibly indicating an arachnoid cyst, the petition says.

Wade allegedly placed the boy in "concussion protocol" from Sept. 18 through Sept. 22, 2016, when the boy had an MRI of the brain revealing the lesion was confirmed as an arachnoid cyst. 

The next day the boy's family brought him back to Wade for a headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and the petition alleges Wade's assessment at that time was that the "concussion resolved," and he released the boy back to active, full-contact sports.

The boy played and practiced for the football team during the following week, and played in a game against Henryetta High School on Sept. 30 in which he was injured, the petition says.

The petition alleges that R.W. "absorbed a hit while carrying the football. The hit caused the arachnoid cyst to rupture."

R.W. underwent emergency brain surgery that night at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, the petition says, and he sustained a permanent traumatic brain injury which the petition alleges occurred "due to the acts and omissions of Dr. Wade and Wade Pediatrics, as Dr. Wade released R.W. to play contact sports without further evaluation of the large arachnoid cyst in his left temporal fossa."

The petition asks the court for "an award of exemplary or punitive damages."

Wade did not return telephone calls seeking comment. Attempts to contact Thomas were unsuccessful.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926, @wburtonMPhx or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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