Staffordshire Girl Suffered Nerve Damage During Birth And Developed Erb’s Palsy
A Rugeley teen, who suffered life-changing injuries during birth, has spoken out on the importance of disability sport in rehabilitation as she stars in a new campaign to raise awareness.
Halle Johnson-Rose, 14, sustained nerve damage during her birth at Queen’s Hospital in Burton, Staffordshire. As a result, she has developed Erb’s Palsy, an injury which occurs when nerves are damaged in an area near a baby’s neck.
The condition affects around one or two of every 1,000 babies and is often caused by shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth.
Halle’s physical development has been affected as a result of Erb’s Palsy. She has limited movement in her right arm and hand, and has 14 scars across the right side of her body. She has also undergone five major operations as a result of the care she was given at birth.
Following Halle’s birth, her parents Louise and Darren, instructed medical negligence specialists at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care given to her by Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The aim of Louise, 48, and Darren, 51, was to ensure their daughter would always have the support she needed to live as independently as possible.
The specialist medical negligence legal team at Irwin Mitchell supported this aim by securing funds for Halle that have helped her access rehabilitation, adaptations to the family home to meet Halle’s needs and compensation for Halle’s future to ensure that she has help and support to enable her to live an independent life.
Louise, who has a second daughter, 10-year old Hanya, with Darren, said: “Both Darren and I are in awe of Halle. The bravery she has shown is incredible. She has such a strong and determined drive to overcome anything that’s in front of her. We are both so proud of her.”
As part of Halle’s rehabilitation, she has tried many sports and is a keen horse rider and swimmer, even competing in accessible triathlons.
Halle’s true sporting love however is karate, and after over seven years of competing, training and developing in the mixed martial art, Halle has spoken in glowing terms about the effect it’s had on her.
Halle said: “I absolute love karate, and I love learning more about the mixed martial art. For me, it’s been the ideal way to express myself and has helped me keep fit and boost my confidence.
“But without doubt the main positive is that it provides exercise for my right arm. I’ve been told by doctors, nurses and mum and dad, that it’s important to move my arm and keep mobile. Karate helps me do that, while being able to spend time with friends.”
Halle is now also getting involved in Irwin Mitchell’s Don’t Quit Do It campaign which seeks to raise awareness of the benefits both physically and psychologically of being involved in disability sports and is supported by multiple gold-medal winning paralympian Hannah Cockroft MBE and British number one wheelchair tennis star Alfie Hewett.
Julianne Moore, a partner and the medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell representing Halle, said:
Expert Opinion“Twelve million people in the UK have a disability but only one in six takes part in sport regularly.
“Our work with people, like Halle, who have suffered life-changing injuries means we recognise the many benefits that physical activity and sport can have.
“Don’t Quit Do It showcases how sport helps people recover from serious injuries and other major traumas in their lives. It does not have to be competitive; the social and physical benefits of sport are manifest at all levels of participation.
“Halle is a true inspiration who, even at such a young age, has always shown a determination to never let anything hold her back. Her love of sport is fantastic and she truly embodies the spirit of Don’t Quit Do It.” Julianne Moore - Partner
Halle is still making progress as she continues her rehabilitation and follows her dream of owning a farm.
While currently volunteering at a local farm as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award, Halle will start a Farming and Engineering course next year at Rodbaston College.
Halle added: “I am focused and determined to improve the movement in my arm as much as I can and sport has already helped me so much. I love Karate and its really helped give me confidence.
“Keeping fit and active has made a massive difference to my life and show me there is no limit to what I can achieve.”
Discover more about Irwin Mitchell’s Don’t Quit Do It campaign.