A father's personal insight into the difficulties faced by the parents of disabled children

Posted: 08/11/2013


Shortly before the court settlement meeting to determine the damages which one of our client’s would receive, his father sent the legal team representing his son this emotive account of how David and the family are affected by his disabilities. It provides a touching insight into the life-changing impact of brain injuries on both patients and those close to them.These are the words of David's father:

"I feel that in all these numbers we have lost sight of the impact this has had on David and us as a family. When David was born those first few weeks were scary. I didn’t know if he would walk, talk, or even smile and we had to live each day as it came. In the early years you cannot believe the worry an epileptic infant brings – fast dashes to hospital waiting to see if the seizure can be controlled, seeing if he would survive and be OK.

"Seeing tiny hands bruised massively to get blood and later David being scared of magic cream because he knew what would happen. Being told he would be fine but slowly seeing the late development and all the issues unfold.Multiple surgeries on his eye and balancing as parents what would make him appear normal versus the risks and pain. Sitting up all night when he was ill, watching to make sure he was OK. In the early years he had many ear infections and we realised the link to seizures quickly and scarily.

"Working glue out of his hair from electrodes to understand the seizures. Later realising that he would never be the bright successful first son and never the elder brother and equal friend for Matthew.

"The desire to learn and the struggle all the way.
The bullying at school.
The never ending worry for his safety and wellbeing is now engrained.
The worry as to what would become of him as he grew older and became an adult with all his needs.
The missed achievements he would have brought to the world.
Probably in the future the lack of David’s own family and children.
The potential loneliness this brings and the on-going knowledge of being injured through no fault of his own – that he already understands.
This has brought great sadness and enormous loss as to what may have been.
And for what – a few hours of focussed care at the beginning…
In arguing if he needs some item to make his future life bearable, the human aspect should not be forgotten."

Alison Johnson, Senior Associate in the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches LLP represented David and his family. A final award for David worth in excess of £5 million was approved by the Royal Courts of Justice in July 2013.


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