Our Court of Protection team secured lifelong rehabilitative support and access to ground-breaking equipment for a young woman who suffered a catastrophic brain injury after being involved in a road traffic accident with a tractor.
In 2006, our client Sarah was 18 years old. She was driving down a country lane when her car collided with a tractor. The crash left her with catastrophic brain injuries, as well as damage to internal organs and multiple fractures.
She was put into a medically-induced coma at the scene and rushed to hospital. She remained in intensive care for several weeks, where an incision was made in her throat and she was fitted with a tracheotomy to help her breathing. Soon after, a tube was also fitted to her stomach, through which she has been fed ever since.
In hospital, Sarah was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia, meaning she has no independent movement in any of her limbs. During her time in hospital she contracted a number of viruses, including MRSA.
Sarah was then moved about through a series of care institutions. After five weeks in hospital, she was first transferred to a nursing home; she was then relocated to a small Acquired Brain Injury centre in Herefordshire, closer to her family home. In 2008 she was moved to a specialist brain injury rehabilitation centre in Bristol.
In 2009 she was finally able to come home. Her parents paid for an extension to the back of their farmhouse to enable her to live with them. They were determined to have their daughter back at home with them rather than in a rehabilitation centre was enormous.
Sarah requires 24 hour care. At the time of her accident the doctors were not optimistic – however, through her perseverance, and with the support of her family, her rehabilitation has been remarkable.
When we took on Sarah’s case, we were able to give call on multiple teams within Irwin Mitchell to help her get the best support she could. Our Serious Injury team in Birmingham handled the litigation process and secured her a lump sum.
The Court of Protection team in Bristol then came on board to manage Sarah’s financial affairs. This involved setting up a care team for her, securing equipment for her rehabilitation, and providing support for her family as necessary. With the help of the Public Law team, her care is fully funded by the Local Authority under CHC provisions: this in turn allows the Court of Protection team to use her funds for extensive rehabilitation and therapies.
Sarah’s rehabilitative care makes use of some of the most cutting edge technology available. She also benefits from regular therapy sessions, including physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and new eye gaze technology.
In her physiotherapy sessions she uses a Hocoma Lokomatpro machine. This is a ground-breaking piece of technology that allows Sarah to walk upright and unaided using a fully adjustable brace on her lower limbs. It was purchased on Sarah’s behalf by the Court of Protection team to aid with her recovery and demonstrates the enormous difference that having such a support team in place can have.
With the help of her sister Rosie, Sarah has worked to defy expectations and make outstanding progress. Having access to exceptional specialist equipment has enabled her to push forwards with her rehabilitation and take her first independent steps in an exoskeleton.
Working together with Irwin Mitchell, Sarah and her family have been able to set new goals and targets for a brighter future. The support of all our teams has helped her get the best support possible – and we know that the equipment and therapies she has access to will help encourage motivation, strength and determination to aid her further on her road to recovery.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious head or brain injury as the result of an accident, our serious injury claims team could help you claim compensation. Visit our Brain & Head Injury Claims page for more information.
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