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Boy given £1.6m compensation over birth injuries suffered at Walsall hospital

Walsall | News | Published:

An 11-year-old boy who suffered tragic birth injuries at Walsall Manor Hospital has been handed a £1.6m compensation package.

The youngster, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was born with severe cerebral palsy, drastically affecting his speech, movement and intellect after his brain was starved of oxygen during his mother's labour.

He now finds it hard to get around without a wheelchair and has great difficulty talking and communicating.

When delivered at Walsall Manor Hospital in 2004, medics 'did not expect him to survive'.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall told the story of the boy and his courageous family as she approved a £1.63 million compensation package designed to cover his future care needs at London's High Court yesterday.

She commended the 'sheer grit and determination' of his parents who refused to accept their son was living on borrowed time.

Justice Thirlwall said when he was discharged home, the 'prognosis remained very bleak'.

She said: "But his parents did not accept that prognosis.

"They have been constant in their devotion to their son and that devotion and love shines through".

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The boy's mother submitted a statement to the court sketching out the challenges of caring for her stricken son, as well as the many delights.

It included an 'extremely moving account' of how the boy's elder siblings do their utmost to engage with their brother - including 'singing and talking' to bring him out of his isolation.

Despite his severe learning difficulties, the boy has made his own determined attempts to carve out a life for himself, and was described in court as a 'happy and delightful boy'.

The case reached the High Court as his legal team asked the judge to approve a final settlement of his damages claim against the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

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Lawyers for the family claimed medical staff should have arranged for an earlier emergency caesarean section delivery, but the Trust denied blame.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall said she had 'no hesitation' in approving the £1,630,000 settlement - which represents just over half the claim's full value.

She added: "I must pay tribute to the parents for having the confidence that their son was capable of finding happiness in his life - and for the sheer grit and determination they have shown.

"The cost to them has been very significant indeed."

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