Teenager with severe cerebral palsy in line for multimillion pound NHS damages
An “extraordinary and bright” teenager who suffered a devastating brain injury at birth is in line for multimillion pound damages from the NHS.
Becky Tyler, from Crawley in West Sussex, was born starved of oxygen at East Surrey Hospital in 2002.
Her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck and body and she needed resuscitation.
As a result the 15-year-old, who is currently studying for her GCSEs, has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
Five years ago Becky, who communicates using advanced eye-gaze technology, asked her mother Fiona Tyler to find out what had happened during her birth.
The teenager then brought a claim for damages against Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, through her father Steve Tyler.
Her lawyers said the trust acknowledged this year that mistakes during Becky’s delivery led to her being deprived of oxygen.
The trust agreed to settle the case on the basis that Becky will recover 90% of the full value of her claim – which is yet to be assessed.
Margaret Bowron QC, representing the trust, said: “We are deeply regretful of the circumstances surrounding Becky’s birth.”
Ms Bowron said Becky has had to face enormous adversity, but has shown “remarkable guts” and is a “sunny, smiley and resourceful girl”.
Mr and Mrs Tyler were praised for the care and devotion they have shown their daughter.
Judge Graham Robinson approved the settlement at the High Court in London on Tuesday and an interim award of damages was made to help provide for Becky’s care.
Speaking after the brief hearing, Becky’s solicitor Jane Weakley said the interim payment would bring some “desperately needed relief” to the family.
Ms Weakley, a partner at law firm Fieldfisher, said: “Becky is an extraordinary and bright girl who is studying for her GCSEs.
“She has achieved some amazing things, but she herself expresses concern about how hard her mother particularly has to work to support her.
“Today’s award means Becky will be able to have the right professional support to help her fulfil her potential.
“And for her parents, acknowledgement of mistakes from the hospital was vital.”
Ms Weakley said some of the money would help to fulfil Becky’s “wish list”, which includes a new “teenage” voice for her eye-gaze technology and a specialist team of therapists to support her.
Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Sian Harrison / PA Wire.