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Walsall Parents Support World Cerebral Palsy Day

Family Determined To Raise Awareness Of Cerebral Palsy


The parents of a young boy from Walsall who developed cerebral palsy following complications during his birth are supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day, which takes place this year on 7th October, to raise awareness of the condition.

Sarah and Matt Challis’ 12-year-old son Daniel was diagnosed with athetoid cerebral palsy two years after his birth and is unable to sit, walk or feed himself.

Sarah attended the Walsall Manor Hospital in May 2003 after her waters broke and on her arrival at the hospital was told she was not very dilated and would be taken to the delivery suite.

When Daniel was delivered at 6:48pm he was born in poor condition; he was pale and floppy and Matt was told by the midwife to press the emergency call button as he was unresponsive.

Doctors resuscitated Daniel five minutes after he was delivered but he had been starved of oxygen for approximately 20 minutes during the delivery.

Daniel was taken to the Neo natal Unit and was suffering seizures. He remained in the unit for 13 days and underwent an MRI scan before being discharged.

Sarah and Matt contacted specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care Sarah and Daniel received at the Walsall Manor Hospital, which is operated by the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

The Trust has now admitted a breach of duty in the care provided to Sarah and Daniel and accepts that the failings resulted in Daniel’s injuries.

Sara Burns, a Partner and medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in cerebral palsy claims and represented Sarah and Daniel, said:

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“Traumatic births are far more common than people realise and can be extremely distressing for the families involved, particularly when their children are left with serious disabilities as a result of inadequate care during the delivery processes.

“In all cerebral palsy cases, parent and their children need a significant amount of help and support and we hope that now we have secured an admission of liability from the Trust that we can secure a settlement that will help Daniel and his parents deal with the challenges they face at the moment and into the future.

“The awareness of the impact of cerebral palsy remains very low so we are supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day in an attempt to correct this. We have also created a portal online for people to see the real life stories behind the condition so they can find out more about it.”
Sara Burns, Partner

Daniel is now 12 years old and attends a specialist school five days a week. He has severe motor disability which renders him wholly dependent on his wheelchair for mobility and is unable to sit unsupported. Daniel suffers extreme difficulties in feeding and swallowing and communicates by means of noise.

Daniel is heavily reliant upon communication aids in order to express his wishes and desires which is helped by the fact that he is an enthusiast computer user.

Sarah said: “There are a number of challenges you face as a parent of a disabled child and it can be extremely hard to cope with these issues. We are happy to see Daniel enjoying school and we try to make life as normal as possible for him.

“We hope that by supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day we can raise awareness of the condition and the situations we, and others in similar circumstances, deal with on a daily basis.”

Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and is also one of the least understood. Irwin Mitchell has partnered with CP charity Brainwave to create an online resource to raise awareness of the challenges of living with cerebral palsy. 

Visit http://www.irwinmitchell.com/living-with-cerebral-palsy for more information.

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.

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