Parents Of Daughter With Cerebral Palsy Speak Of Relief After Hospital Trust Says Sorry

Medical Law Experts Work To Secure Life-Long Care Package

24.07.2012

The devoted parents of a nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage as a result of mistakes made by midwives when she was being born have spoken of their relief after the hospital trust admitted its failings, meaning she will receive the rehabilitation and specialist care she needs for the rest of her life.

Lhana Bedoya has cerebral palsy and is completely dependent on others after medical staff failed to monitor her heart rate as she was being delivered at Watford General Infirmary, causing her brain to become starved of oxygen.

Her parents Fabian and Ursula, who live in Watford, contacted medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell shortly after Lhana’s birth in a battle to gain the support and specialist rehabilitation services she needs. Lhana is severely disabled, fed by a tube, suffers epilepsy, has very limited vision and is intellectually impaired meaning she needs 24-hour care seven days a week.

Initially West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust did not accept responsibility for Lhana’s disabilities, meaning her parents, who have two other younger children, had to dedicate their life to caring for her. But after more evidence came to light, the trust gave a formal admission of liability and a full apology.

Now, Lhana’s parents say they can finally begin to look to the future after an interim payment was arranged by their lawyer Jane Weakley, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s London office, to fund specialist equipment for Lhana. The firm can also now begin evaluating the lifelong care package and rehabilitation programme Lhana needs.

A letter to the family, direct from the Chief Executive of the NHS trust, said: ‘The Trust accepts without reservation that Lhana did not receive the standard of care to which she was entitled. For this, I am truly sorry.’

Jane Weakley, from Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is a huge relief for Lhana’s family that the Trust has now admitted liability for the brain damage she suffered and has recognised the poor standard of care which in turn will lead to an improvement in procedures.

“Lhana requires 24-hour support, and while her family have shown tremendous dedication providing this, she needs one-to-one care and specialist rehabilitation services to ensure she reaches her full potential.

“The interim payment has funded specialist equipment and therapies for Lhana at her home and we will now work with the Trust to ensure Lhana is given access to the best possible care for the rest of her life.”

Fabian, Lhana’s dad and full time carer, said: “Lhana had the worst start to life as a result of the hospital’s mistakes and that has been very hard for the family to come to terms with.

“My wife and I devote our time to looking after her but we have three other children so it can be very difficult.

“Despite all of this, Lhana makes us smile and laugh every day. She loves being tickled and goes to a specialist school where she thrives in the sensory room. She loves being around her two younger sisters and older half brother

“It is a huge relief that the Trust has now admitted responsibility and it gives us some peace of mind to know they have learnt lessons from the mistakes so no one else has to go through what we have.”

If medical errors during birth caused your child’s cerebral palsy, our expert solicitors could help you claim compensation. Visit out Cerebral Palsy Claims page for more information or call or free on 0808 163 4557.