Cerebral palsy - Felix's story
Felix suffered severe brain damage and permanent disabilities due to the negligent delay in delivery during his birth at Lewisham Hospital in 2001.
At 41 weeks into her pregnancy, Felix’s mother attended Lewisham Hospital for induction of labour. In the early afternoon a Syntocinon infusion was commenced which was increased on a regular basis. The CTG trace began to show signs of fetal distress.
There were failures by the midwife:
- to recognise abnormalities on the CTG trace from 16.10 onwards,
- to inform an obstetrician of the same,
- to recognise uterine hyperstimulation and to reduce or discontinue the Syntocinon infusion,
- to monitor the fetal heart appropriately,
- to call for a paediatrician prior to delivery.
Two years after his birth Felix’s mother Vici, was advised to speak to specialist clinical negligence firm Leigh Day by a work colleague. Olive Lewin, clinical negligence partner at Leigh Day took on Felix’s case in 2003 for a claim against the hospital for medical negligence.
Olive along with medical and midwifery experts examined the hospital records which showed clear breaches of duty in Felix’s care, which caused his condition. There was a very early admission of liability.
During the case Olive consulted with specialist care experts, occupational and speech therapists, a physiotherapist and an accommodation expert. This enabled Olive to put together the financial side of the claim, so that Felix can live in appropriately adapted accommodation, to have the right equipment, and to pay for care and therapies for the rest of his life. Early on in the case Olive was able to secure interim payments so that an appropriate house could be purchased and a care package set up for Felix.
Felix’s case was settled on a lump sum basis, along with annual payments for the rest of Felix’s life to pay for his care and case management. The family have purchased suitable equipment with the compensation, including an electric wheelchair which enables Felix to move independently around the family home. The accommodation has also been suitably adapted and includes a lift which takes Felix into his bedroom, and an adapted bath suitable for someone with Felix’s disabilities.
Felix’s mum Vici said: “The house has changed our lives and we are much happier about the future for Felix. Financially we will be able to pay for the equipment, support and care that he needs for the rest of his life. We wouldn’t have had that had we not gone through this process and reached the settlement.”