Irwin Mitchell’s Damian Hodkinson has supported Andrew and Rosa Forshaw following the birth of their daughter Katie.
Katie suffered a lack of oxygen at birth, resulting in cognitive impairment, tetraplegia cerebral palsy, and profound development delay. She also suffers from epilepsy and is registered blind, meaning she’s dependent on others for all aspects of daily living.
Parents Andrew and Rosa, from Southport, sought legal advice and, ultimately, compensation to help with Katie’s care. Their home at the time was a small three-bedroom semi-detached house. But the two-storey layout meant Andrew and Rosa had to carry Katie upstairs to bed each evening. There was also a lack of storage for the vast amount of equipment needed to care for Katie.
This home couldn’t be adapted, and so the Forshaws needed to find a new, suitable property once the litigation claim settled. The family wanted to stay in Southport close to friends and relatives.
The support structure of GPs and hospital care also limited the radius of the search for a new property. There was the size and nature of Katie’s equipment to consider too.
The search showed that it’d be more effective to purchase an existing house on a plot of land, knock it down, and build a property specifically for Katie’s needs. Throughout, Damian and his team supported on the planning applications, and bringing in the right people to see the project through to competition.
Speaking about the family's journey, Damian said:
"I first met with Andrew, Rosa and Katie in their family home and was able to see first-hand the difficulties they faced. The property, while a lovely family home, was simply not suitable for Katie’s needs. It was a real drive for me to support the family to move them to a more suitable environment at the earliest opportunity. I wanted them to be in a home that made life easier and more enjoyable.
"The outcome of this case is evident for all to see. Katie is in good health thanks to the care Andrew and Rosa provide, and she clearly loves her new home. Things are so much easier now for the family compared to when I first met them.
"It’s been a privilege to support the family on this journey as Katie’s Deputy. I continue to meet with them every year for an annual review at their new home and they’re the most welcoming and lovely family."
The new home, named ‘The Bungalow’, features extra-wide doorways, ceiling hoists, and an open kitchen-diner and living room to allow the family to be together more often. There’s an integrated garage so that transfers to the car can be done safely and comfortably.
The clever design gives an abundance of light, and there’s a great outdoor space meaning the family can go for walks without leaving their home.
The property has a spare bedroom for when Katie’s carers need to stay over, and there’s sufficient storage for all her equipment.
Andrew says: “Our home has really helped and enhanced all their lives. Katie enjoys living in the property.
“She’s “benefited from the extra space. It’s allowed for specialist equipment, which is very important to comfort Katie and assisting her in her daily life.”
Following the completion of their home and legal work, Katie’s deputy Damian Hodkinson now has annual reviews with the family, ensuring Katie’s needs and care continue to be met. Our Building Conveyancing team regularly checks and maintains the property through the necessary stages as well.
If you need support with protecting the best interests of a vulnerable loved one, our Court of Protection solicitors can help. Find out more about our Court of Protection solicitors.
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