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Future Care Secured For Girl Following Payout

Woods Family Welcome Court’s Approval


The family of a south London girl left with severe brain damage following serious medical errors during her birth have spoken of their relief after funding was secured that guarantees her a lifetime of around-the-clock care.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell represented the family of Holly Woods at an approval hearing at the High Court in London, where it was agreed that the eight-year-old will receive damages equivalent to almost £8 million over her lifetime to ensure she can have as normal a life as possible in spite of her condition.

Jane Weakley, a medical law and patients’ rights specialist from the firm’s London office, supported the family in their battle for justice. She said: “It is great news that the Woods family now have access to the funding which will ensure Holly gets the best possible care and rehabilitation throughout her life. I hope all of the family can now look forward to a brighter future together.”

Holly was the victim of a catalogue of mistakes at Lewisham Hospital before she was born. Staff failed to carry out an emergency caesarean section on her mother, Sarah, despite their plan to do so. The decision proved costly, as oxygen starvation caused Holly’s cerebral palsy and a severe learning difficulty.

Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust has agreed to pay damages over the incident and the subsequent challenges which Holly will face for the rest of her life.

Commenting on the outcome, Sarah Woods, said: “It has been an incredibly hard few years for the family, but to know that our daughter will always be looked after is a huge relief for us all.

“We are also happy that, through this process, we’ve been able to raise awareness of our experiences in the sincere hope that lessons are learnt and no one else faces the problems that have had such an impact on Holly’s life. SS

“While no amount of money will repair the damage done, we now have a chance to move on with our lives and focus all of our energies on Holly, ensuring that she gets as much out of life as possible.

“Finally, as a family, we would also like to take the opportunity to thank Irwin Mitchell, and Jane in particular, for the care and attention we have received throughout our time with the firm.

“We have been in regular contact with Jane and feel very lucky to have been supported by someone with such expertise. We will truly never forget her and what she has helped us achieve for our beautiful little girl.”

Jane Weakley added: “The brain injuries suffered by Holly mean that, despite having some mobility, she will be wheelchair-dependent for life. She will also require aids to be able to communicate effectively.

 “The extent and complexity of the problems faced by Holly mean the funding which has been secured will ensure she can access 24-hour care, and rehabilitation and therapy services that will prove invaluable throughout her day-to-day life.

“It also means that her family can guarantee she has accommodation adapted to meet her everyday needs, as well as the chance to receive special education.

“However, while the settlement is welcome news, it cannot be forgotten how we reached this point. Serious failings cannot be ignored and we hope that efforts have been made to ensure that errors are not repeated.”

The family do not wish to comment further. If you have any questions please contact the Irwin Mitchell press office on 0114 274 4666 or email pressoffice@irwinmitchell.com.