Cerebral Palsy - Payouts and Progress
A large payout has been awarded to the mother of a 14 year old boy who was brain damaged at birth and whose treatment was found to have fallen ‘below an acceptable standard.’
A large payout has been awarded to the mother of a 14 year old boy who was brain damaged at birth and whose treatment was found to have fallen ‘below an acceptable standard.’ Clare Scott, whose son Charlie was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic hemiplegic atheloid cerebral palsy as a result of the mistakes made during his birth said during the case that her son is unable to deal with the basics of everyday life, such as feeding himself, walking and talking, and that he suffers from uncomfortable muscle spasms. The condition was caused by Charlie’s brain being deprived of oxygen for around 20 minutes during the labour, as a result of the umbilical cord being wrapped around his shoulders and squashed completely.
The payment of £7.1 million was won against the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, where staff failed to notice the squashed umbilical cord that caused Charlie’s condition. The money will provide equipment for help Charlie communicate and get around more easily, and mean that he doesn’t now have to wait for a social services assessment to determine what assistance he would receive. The hospital has apologised to Ms Scott for care that fell below an acceptable standard and which was directly responsible for his brain injury. In response, Ms Scott was quoted in a BBC report as saying "I will always feel angry his so-called ’normal’ life has been taken away, but he is such a happy boy and so intelligent. He loves life and lives it as fully as he possibly can"
For Clare Scott and Charlie the process of getting to this point – of actually receiving the payout – has been a long one that began when Charlie was just nine months old. It was only in 2010 that the hospital finally admitted to being at fault after the specific cause of the brain damage was established.
Clare and Charlie’s case follows on from a number of awards in recent months made to the parents of children who have suffered similar birth traumas. In October of last year the family of eleven year old Joseph O’Reggio received a £6 million payout from New Cross Hospital when the staff there failed to react quickly enough to Joseph’s brain being starved of oxygen. Joseph has severe learning difficulties and cannot speak or feed himself.
For children like Charlie and Joseph who suffer from cerebral palsy, the physical day to day of getting around can be a real struggle. However, a pioneering operation being carried out at Leeds General Infirmary is offering children affected by the condition the chance to regain a degree of usage of their legs again. The selective dorsal rhizotomy operation helps to improve movement in some cerebral palsy sufferers by cutting some of the spinal nerves. The operation is the first of its kind in the UK and so the waiting lists are long. Previously, parents of affected children would have had to raise thousands of pounds in order to be able to take their children to America to have the operation performed.
Thanks to this pioneering work by medical professionals, and to the compensatory awards being made in cases such as Charlie and Joseph’s, for some coping with cerebral palsy will now be that little bit easier. For others, it still remains a daily struggle.
This release was produced by Stephensons Solicitors LLP, Cerebral Palsy Claims specialists
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