Boy Brain Damaged At Birth Given £8.5m Compensation

14/08/2014 16:49 | Updated 22 May 2015

Boy left with brain damage after negligent birth given £8.5m payout

A hospital has paid out £8.5m to a boy left disabled after suffering brain damage at birth.

The Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath compensated Alfie Buck, now seven, for the pain caused to him and his family.

The BBC reports that the little boy is completely reliant on a wheelchair and has to use technology to communicate.

He also has cerebral palsy and suffers painful spasms.

His lawyers told the High Court that medical staff had failed to monitor him sufficiently while his mother was in labour.

The court heard that his heart rate was not checked for more than 12 hours, and that he should have been delivered by emergency Caesarean because he was starved of oxygen.

His legal team said that if he had been born 20 minutes earlier, it was highly likely he would not have suffered brain damage.

Alfie's mum Samantha said his cerebral palsy affects all his limbs, making movement very difficult, despite his mind being 'very bright'.

"He can communicate by using specialist equipment that tracks eye movement," she said, adding that he continued to 'amaze' his family and his teacher with his progress.

"Having said that, caring for a child with cerebral palsy has to be the toughest job in the world as it is 24/7 and consumes your life," she said.

A spokesman for the Hospital Trust said that staff there hope the payout will ensure that Alfie receives the best available care and support throughout his life.

"We have previously admitted full liability for the brain injury Alfie sustained at the time of his birth in March 2006," the spokesman said.

"We are exceptionally sorry for the pain and distress caused to Alfie and his family as a result of the unacceptably poor care he received. We have learnt lessons from what happened and changed practice as a result."

The money, a lump sum of £3.85m, plus life-long periodical payments, will provide the family with a new wheelchair-accessible home with space to accommodate the live-in carers Alfie needs. It will also pay for his ongoing physiotherapy, transport, education, specialist equipment and support.

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