A MUM whose son was left disabled after complications during his birth has won her fight for compensation.
Leanne Holmes, 27, of Saltney, had a normal pregnancy and gave birth to son Aidan on October 30, 2004, at the Countess of Chester Hospital.
But disaster struck when, after seven hours in labour, doctors used forceps to complete the delivery, damaging Aidan’s umbilical cord in the process.
His brain was starved of oxygen and he was consequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
“I knew something was wrong with him straight away,” said Leanne. “He was floppy and covered in blood.
“I knew he would have a disability and after seven months he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. It was a difficult time.”
Leanne soon hired a solicitor to fight for compensation for her son. And now, six and a half years later, she has finally won her battle.
The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has agreed a settlement at London’s High Court – but without making any admission of liability.
However, Simon Taylor QC, representing Aidan, said all sides agreed that had his umbilical cord not been damaged he would have been born uninjured.
The NHS has agreed to compensate the family half of the full claim, but it will still be another year before Leanne and Aidan receive any the money.
Although the amount of damages now due to the six-year-old has yet to be assessed, the extent of his disabilities and future care needs means he will be entitled to seven-figure compensation – even after a 50% reduction in the payout.
“People have said I will become a millionaire, but it doesn’t work like that,” said Leanne, of Boundary Lane.
“The money goes into a trust fund, then I have to apply for money whenever Aidan needs anything.”
She added: “He can’t stand up, walk, talk or feed himself.
“He needs physio, speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy and neurological therapy.
“Getting anything educational or from the NHS is a real rigmarole. We had to wait for two and a half years for a wheelchair.
“When the money comes we can just buy things privately when we need them.
“I’m really happy with the decision and relieved it’s all over.”
Leanne has been Aidan’s full-time carer since birth, but the compensation will pay for a professional, live-in carer.
And Leanne said that will mean she can begin thinking about finding work – or having more children.
“I always wanted other children,” she said.
“But I’ll wait until Aidan’s a bit older. If I’d had other children before Aidan I would have had something to compare my experiences with and perhaps realised how hard it is, but this is all I know.
“But I wouldn’t change him for the world.”
“If he could walk and talk he wouldn’t be the same person. He hasn’t got a care in the world, which is why I don’t think about what might have been.”