A couple who won a £3 million payout for their disabled daughter after she suffered injuries at birth have spoken about their relief that her future will be secure.
Helen Walker, from Solihull, has needed constant care since her birth after her mother Maureen endured a very prolonged delivery at Birmingham Women’s Hospital in July 1972.
Her parents Maureen and Michael, who she lives with in Hansell Drive, Dorridge, had just got on with supporting their daughter until they found out they had a claim 10 years ago and began proceedings.
Yesterday they won £3 million at London’s High Court from West Midlands Strategic Health Authority.
The authority’s counsel, Terence Coghlan QC, said that it greatly regretted the negligence which was admitted and wished the family well.
Ms Walker will receive her award by means of lifelong periodic payments, which will amount to about £3 million.
Solicitor Tom Cook, who was representing the Walker family, said: “Helen is a happy young woman given her circumstances, and her family love her and look after her very well.
“She attends a day centre, but specialist care of the kind she needs and which might make a difference to her quality of life is extremely expensive.
“Our claim against the hospital seeks to provide a financial settlement which will provide for her future.
“Her parents are aware that the time will eventually come when they won’t be there to look after her and they are concerned to ensure that her future is secure.
“Accordingly, the award is mainly to be paid in annual instalments for the rest of her life. Its actual value will depend on how long she lives but her support needs should be met in the meantime.
“Although claims like Helen’s are now more commonly brought when the injured party is still a child, there are parents out there who have committed their lives to looking after a brain injured son or daughter, perhaps not realising that they can still get help.
He added: “I think the family are greatly relieved that it’s finally all over and that the barrister for the West Midlands Health Authority actually said that there had been some faults
“Their anxieties for the future financial care of their daughter are finally being taken care of.
“They will be bringing in some professional help and organising a suitable care regime for Helen. They will also be financing the aquisition of equipment for her support which is going to make life easier.
“They obviously went for a number of years without thinking about bringing any action when they finally realised that they could notwithstanding the length of time that had gone past they dealt with it very well.
“They realised it was a lengthy process and particularly recently has been a very anxious time for them, particularly during recent negotiations.”