£4 million victory for severely disabled girl who was starved of oxygen at birth

June 26, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A six-year-old girl severely disabled after bungling doctors starved her of oxygen at birth has been awarded £4 million in compensation.

Brave Holly Nixon needs round-the-clock care after she was born quadriplegic and suffering from cerebral palsy.

Holly’s parents Emma, 36, and Carl, 39, sued the hospital for negligence claiming their daughter’s injuries could have been avoided if she had been delivered earlier.

An approval hearing at London’s High Court has now agreed the settlement which could be worth a staggering £4 million.

Judge Robin Spencer QC said the money would ensure Holly had the ”best possible financial security” for the rest of her life.

He said: ”Holly is a lovely, lively, radiant girl, who has much to give.

”She is fortunate, indeed, to have such parents and the court is lost in admiration at the strength of character they have shown in coping with this tragedy and turning it into such an inspiring and positive testament to the responsibilities and privileges of parenthood.

”I was delighted to learn that Holly now has a sister, Lilly, born 10 days ago, and I wish her and all the family all good fortune in the future, as they continue to build their life together.”

Mrs Nixon was 38 weeks into her pregnancy with Holly when she noticed the baby was not moving.

On July 23, 2003 she told the midwife who discovered she was also suffering from high blood pressure – a key symptom the baby was in distress and should be delivered immediately.

But Mrs Nixon was not admitted to Worcestershire Royal Hospital until two days later and when she was given an emergency caesarean section it was too late.

As a result of the delay Holly’s brain was starved of oxygen and she suffered irreparable brain damage.

Holly is permanently brain damaged, has no independent mobility and only limited speech and impaired vision.

In 2008 Worcestershire Acute Hospital Trust admitted liability and agreed an out-of-court settlement with the family, from Kidderminster, Worcs.

A High Court judge was required to approve the amount offered because Holly is under 18.

Paul Rees QC, representing the NHS Trust, said it was important that the health service offered an ”unreserved apology” to Holly and her parents.

He added: ”It is also right for us to mark as a public tribute how much the claimant’s family have done and how much they have devoted themselves to her needs.

”They have made many sacrifices and there is not the slightest doubt they will continue to do so and, indeed, they deserve the highest praise.”

The Trust will give a £2 million lump sum to the family followed by around £50,000 every year for the rest of Holly’s life.

Mr Nixon, speaking after the hearing, said: ”Although the hospital trust has admitted that mistakes were made, I’m still extremely angry that Holly and Emma were both so badly let down.

”If only they had listened to my wife’s concerns, Holly would have been born without brain damage.

”By now, she should be running around with her friends and starting music or dancing classes.

”We have been robbed of this and so many other countless opportunities that she should have had in life and it is extremely difficult to come to terms with this, particularly as we now know it’s all down to basic mistakes made during her birth.”

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