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A teenager with cerebral palsy caused by an injury to his brain at birth has won the right to compensation from the NHS to pay for the lifetime of specialist care that he will need.
The 18-year-old suffered oxygen starvation during his mother's labour. As a result, he has the strength of a man but the mind of a toddler. The NHS trust which ran the hospital where he was born agreed to compensate him on the basis of 50 per cent liability. There was, however, a continuing dispute over the extent of his care needs. He has tetraparetic cerebral palsy and very severe cognitive, social and communication impairments, with profound autism. His physical strength and his low mental age make looking after him very difficult.
The High Court found that his profound disabilities coupled with his unpredictable behaviour mean that he will require the services of two professional carers, around the clock, for the rest of his life. The exact amount of his compensation award has yet to be assessed, but it is likely to be substantial even after a 50 per cent reduction.