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Cerebral palsy - Jerry's story

Jerry Sesay was born on 24th October 2006. During his mother's labour Jerry's foetal heart was monitored by a sonic aid and was found to be within the normal parameters.

He was was born at 02.03. After Jerry' s head was delivered thick meconium was delivered. He was blue in colour and made a small gasp. His heart rate was 80-100 bpm.

The paediatric SHO was called and attended at 02.05 and he started cardiac massage and resuscitation.

Jerry responded poorly to the inflation breaths. Thick meconium and mucus was suctioned from his airway. His heart rate rose from 60 to 100 bpm.

Strenuous attempts were made to resuscitate him and he was eventually intubated at 12 minutes.

He was transferred to the neonatal unit, where he had a stormy course. He was discharged home four weeks later.

Jerry is now seven. He has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He uses a ventilator at home. He suffers from regular seizures throughout the day. He requires regular suctioning, is peg-fed, and has profound and severe developmental delay. Jerry is blind.

He has a much shortened life expectancy. Despite his injuries his mother cares for him meticulously at home. It is a result of her exemplary care that Jerry is still alive.

Jerry’s brain damage was probably caused by an episode of profound asphyxia of about 25-30 minutes which went unnoticed.

Olive Lewin, a partner in Leigh Day’s clinical negligence team, secured substantial damages. It will help to pay for 24-hour care for the rest of Jerry’s life.