Moving forward after an avoidable birth injury leading to cerebral palsy – one family’s journey
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Our client Pauline* has bravely, and kindly, agreed for us to follow her family’s past medical negligence journey in a series of blogs.
More than 11 years ago, during her second daughter’s birth, medical professionals failed to take the appropriate course of action to deliver her baby via a caesarean section. Instead, a natural birth was progressed leading to a significant, and entirely avoidable birth injury leading to cerebral palsy.
To read more about what happened click here.
Following a £multi-million medical negligence settlement to help cover the costs of extensive lifelong care needs, an adapted home and specialist equipment, Pauline* was able to give up full-time work in order to fully support her daughter’s needs.
“I had to work full-time up until this point to support my family. To be able to resign to allow more time with my daughter after years of really struggling has been an enormous relief.
“My daughter has to attend regular medical appointments and therapy sessions and fitting those in around full-time hours was incredibly difficult and stressful for us all.
“Knowing that I don’t have to worry about money and can focus my energy and attention on my daughter’s significant needs is still something that I’m getting my head round. I still worry about money a lot as it’s a force of habit.
The legal battle is over, and I feel more relaxed
“I feel less anxious now that we have received medical negligence compensation following my daughter’s avoidable cerebral palsy. This has had a positive impact on my kids.
“We’re still living in our old house which is very small. My daughter still sleeps with me and she gets very frustrated being stuck indoors, particularly over the winter months.
“She is now in high school and that brings its own challenges as she develops into a young woman, wants to be like her peers and pushes boundaries. On top of this normal prepubescent behaviour, my daughter has cerebral palsy so struggles with a lot of things that she wants to do.
“She is naturally looking for more and more independence, but she will need a lot of support for the rest of her life.
“We have bought a house which is currently awaiting demolition. Our plan is to build an adapted home on the land which will be designed to suit my daughter’s needs – both now and in the future.
“She will have her own bedroom which most children take for granted. I will have my own bedroom which will be a luxury.
“I now have help with her care including a carer coming in in the mornings to help my daughter get ready for school.
“That extra help every day has made a significant difference to me taking some of the pressure off and allowing me the time and energy to focus on being a parent.
“My daughter needs a lot of attention after school also. I am slowly learning how to enjoy myself again and realising that self-care is important.
“It benefits both of my daughters if I’m looking after my physical and mental health well. I’m more relaxed and am better able to deal with whatever challenges are ahead of us.
“We now have planning permission for our new house and the demolition is due to take place in the coming weeks.
“We hope to be in our new home within 12 – 18 months and living in a specially adapted space will transform my daughter’s quality of life and our relationship.
“After struggling as a family for so many years, we are slowly starting to live again. I have rediscovered old hobbies like amateur theatre, learning to play a musical instrument and even going to the gym.
“Going for a coffee with friends or being able to have the occasional night out is a luxury that I’m rediscovering. I didn’t have the time before to enjoy the simple things that most take for granted.
“Small lifestyle changes like being able to order a takeaway without worrying about the cost means that my daughter can start to enjoy as normal a life as possible.
“When my oldest daughter reaches milestones, I have mixed emotions. I am delighted and proud of her, but I’m also saddened and angry as it’s a constant reminder that my youngest daughter has had what should have been a normal life taken away from her.
“To meet the extensive needs of my youngest daughter, my eldest missed out. It is impossible to be the parent you want to be to both children when one has significant needs.
“Our new home will provide my eldest daughter with much needed privacy. We are moving forward into a more positive phase and my eldest daughter really looks after me and her sister as we become a closer unit.”
Pauline* has kindly agreed to allow us to document her journey in order to help other families who have suffered an avoidable birth injury leading to cerebral palsy.
Keep an eye on our website, Facebook and Twitter as we follow the family’s post medical negligence settlement journey.
We are here to help
Our team of medical and legal specialists are on hand to provide confidential, empathetic advice if you believe that your baby suffered an avoidable birth injury leading to cerebral palsy.
For a free initial chat with Diane Rostron and her team, contact us here.
*name changed to protect the family’s privacy