A child who was starved of oxygen at birth today had a substantial sum in compensation approved by Manchester District Registry.

Nine-year-old Stephen Loraine, from Rock Ferry, needs 24-hour care after doctors at Wirral University Hospital failed to spot a dangerous fibroid in his mother Pauline’s womb during a scan in 2000.

Three days later she suffered a massive bleed at home and was rushed into hospital. Stephen was starved of oxygen for more than 45 minutes and he was subsequently diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and impaired sight. He relies on 24-hour care from his parents and cannot talk.

Had doctors reviewed Pauline’s notes from her previous four pregnancies they would have realised she had a fibroid and had endured a previous breech delivery. She would have been admitted to hospital in the days leading up to birth where Stephen could have been delivered with emergency care.

Thompsons Solicitors made claim for compensation

Stephen lives at home with his mum Pauline, dad, Mark a marine fitter for Mersey Ferries, and his four brothers and sisters aged between 11 and 20.

He attends Lyndale School in the Wirral which provides special care to children with severe learning difficulties and his mother, a former waitress, is his main carer.

The family contacted Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for clinical negligence after being advised by Mark’s union Unite.

The High Court found the hospital negligent in 2008. Today’s hearing approved the agreed settlement for the family. It reflects the level of care Stephen will need for the rest of his life.

Mark said: “This has been a long hard fight to secure Stephen’s long term care.

“An interim payment has already allowed us to move to a more suitable house which has a bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor. Stephen is able to move around all of the rooms on the ground floor in his wheelchair.

Compensation will enable the family to access the best care possible

The settlement will allow us to make sure he has the best care possible.

“Stephen’s smile lights up the room and he brings us so much joy. We are eternally grateful he survived such a traumatic birth. Now we want to concentrate on helping him to develop his full potential to make his life as happy and fulfilled as possible.”

Paul Finegan from Unite the union said: “Whilst we do not fund these claims we do refer them onto our lawyers who are experts in this field and we are pleased this has been a successful outcome for this member.”

Gillian Muir from Thompsons Solicitors added: “This case was vitally important for Stephen and his family.

"The hospital trust and their solicitors denied liability throughout this case. Stephen would have been left with nothing had the Loraines not decided to fight on. Despite the huge extra burden and worry the family were left with no choice but to take the matter all the way to trial. This judgment now means Stephen will be looked after financially for the rest of his life.

To avoid any other family having to go through what the Loraines have had to put up with we hope this judgment will mean that hospitals ensure full past obstetric notes are available to the treating clinicians when a pregnant woman is seen in hospital or by community midwives, and appropriate plans are made for their treatment and delivery of the baby.”

This news story was also published by Liverpool Echo and Wirral Globe.