Lifelong care obtained for brain damaged girl after £7M compensation secured


A mother who dedicated her life to caring for a daughter catastrophically brain damaged by hospital errors has spoken of her relief that she will have the help she needs when she is no longer here after a multi-million pound care package was secured.

Natasha Jackson, now 23, was left severely physically and mentally disabled after errors made by hospital staff during her mother’s pregnancy, Natasha’s delivery and in the first few days of her life starved her brain of oxygen leading to significant cerebral palsy.

Natasha needs 24-hour care for the rest of her life and is dependent on others for all of her needs. However after a successful claim for negligence she has now been awarded £7 million in compensation to enable her family to provide this now and in the future.

Her mother Paula McKay was left heartbroken by Natasha’s injuries and the devastating impact they have had on her daughter’s life. However history tragically repeated as her second born child Patrick (22) was also severely brain damaged by mismanagement of his delivery by staff at the same hospital which was responsible for the errors in Natasha’s case – the former Sharoe Green Hospital in Preston. Patrick has injuries similar to Natasha’s and is also severely physically and mentally disabled.

Patrick’s case was settled by Olivia Scates of JMW Solicitors in June 2010 for £6m, liability was eventually admitted in full and the compensation calculated on a 100% basis. However Natasha’s case took longer to investigate and conclude because the case was extremely complicated from a medical point of view and liability was vigorously contested. Liability only settled a month before the liability trial in June 2011, when a 70% settlement was agreed. The final compensation was delayed to allow Natasha to finish at the Beaumont College (a specialist college for people affected by cerebral palsy run by the charity SCOPE) and for a property to be bought, extended and adapted for her to live in with a team of carers.

However now that Natasha’s case has also settled the family can begin to put the past behind them having ensured that both Natasha and Patrick have access to the specialist care they need to have the best possible quality of life, and they can look to the future

Olivia Scates, a partner at JMW Solicitors, who represented both Natasha and Patrick in their legal battles against the former North West Strategic Health Authority, responsible for the hospital, said this was an unprecedented situation where two children in one family had suffered brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy as a result of negligence.

Olivia said: “ Paula has had to cope with two avoidable tragedies involving her children. To go through such an ordeal once and a child’s life to be devastated is tragic, for it to happen to two children in the same family is unbelievably sad. However Paula is an incredible mother who has dedicated her life to caring for Natasha and Patrick and has conducted herself with great dignity throughout their cases.

“Nothing can be done to turn back the clock but with the settlement of Natasha’s case Paula will have the support she needs to provide that care to her daughter and ensure that she does not have to worry about the future, especially when she is not here anymore, which was a huge concern.

“Natasha will never be able to live independently, work or do any of the things the rest of us take for granted. However as well as the highly specialist accommodation and equipment she requires now she will have access to excellent care that will improve her quality of life and enable her to access therapies and activities designed for people with her level of disability.”

Natasha and Patrick are both extremely disabled, they have a brother George, who Paula jokes is “extremely normal”. He is 19 and training as a nurse to continue to help disabled people in his working life.

Paula, who is divorced from Natasha and Patrick’s father and has since remarried commented: “Natasha and Patrick have been through so much in their lives and it has been heart-breaking to see them suffer at times due to the injuries they were left with. However with the settlement of Natasha’s case I am relieved that I no longer have to worry about what will happen when I am not here anymore and that both will have access to the specialist care they need and deserve. Another important factor of this financial settlement is that it will ensure Natasha receives excellent on-going care that will not ever be affected by local or national budget cuts.”

“It upsets me to think about any other families going through the same ordeal and having to fight hospital trusts to help children they have failed. However I would say to any other parents in the same situation not to give up hope, you can eventually get the help you and your child needs and things can get better.”

To contact Olivia and the team in relation to your own case please call 0161 838 2778




For more press information:

Samantha Meakin

0161 828 1981

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