When Joseph Rea was born at Ipswich Hospital in 2006, a thirty minute delay in his delivery had disastrous consequences. During the half hour delay Joseph’s brain was starved of oxygen, something which meant that he went on to develop cerebral palsy.
The damage to the new born baby’s brain was so serious that Joseph, now aged seven, experiences learning difficulties, mobility problems and seizures.
Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, the body with ultimate control over the hospital, accepted in 2009 that they were responsible for Joseph’s injuries and this week a hearing at the High Court in London agreed that the family should receive a £5m compensation pay-out.
Joseph’s parents, Helen and Paul Rea, have always maintained that Joseph would have avoided the condition if he had been born just half an hour earlier, and said that the money awarded would be spent on providing care for Joseph for the rest of his life.
Tom Cook, the solicitor acting on behalf of the family, said: “We are now pleased to have obtained sufficient compensation to ensure Joseph is cared for appropriately for the rest of his life and that his potential for development can be maximised. He is generally a happy and loving child, but his life will not be an easy one. He will always require care and therapy and will never be able to support himself financially by working.”
The NHS Trust was represented by Paul Rees QC and he issued a statement containing a “full and unreserved apology to Joseph and his family” from the Trust and added that he hoped the compensation would give the family “peace of mind for the future”.