TODAY marks the end of a 19-year battle for Paula McKay, whose two eldest children were left brain damaged due to hospital failings.
Paula, 45, from Leyland, has dedicated her life to caring for her children Natasha, 23 and Patrick 22. And today she has told of her relief at knowing they will both be financially secure after £7m in compensation was awarded to Natasha.
Natasha was left severely physically and mentally disabled after errors made by hospital staff during her mum’s pregnancy, her delivery and in the first few days of her life when her brain was starved of oxygen leading to cerebral palsy. She will need 24-hour care for the rest of her life.
Paula was left heartbroken but history repeated itself as her second born child Patrick was also severely brain damaged by mismanagement of his delivery by staff at the same hospital – the former Sharoe Green Hospital in Preston.
Patrick is also severely physically and mentally disabled. His case was settled in June 2010 for £6m.
Today Paula said: “I was devastated it happened a second time. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
“I knew they had done something wrong and needed to be investigated and to get the best possible for Natasha and Patrick.
“Natasha and Patrick have been through so much in their lives and it has been heart-breaking to see them suffer at times due to the injuries they were left with.”
Paula said she decided to take action when she was pregnant with her youngest son George, now 19.
Patrick’s case was settled in 2010 but Natasha’s case took longer to investigate.
Liability only settled a month before the liability trial in June 2011, when a 70 per cent settlement was agreed.
Olivia Scates, a partner at JMW Solicitors, who represented both Natasha and Patrick in their legal battles against the former North West Strategic Health Authority, responsible for the hospital, said this was an ‘unprecedented’ situation where two children in one family had suffered brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy as a result of negligence.
A NHS Litigation Authority spokesperson said: “Compensation has been agreed with the family which will assist in meeting the claimant’s current and future care needs for life. The legal case concerned tragic events surrounding the claimant’s birth almost 25 years ago.”