Mismanagement of birth caused cerebral palsy

A family has received a seven figure sum in compensation after a catastrophic medical error during their daughter’s birth rendered her virtually helpless.

Rhiannon Pridmore, aged seven, from Swansea, suffered severe brain damage during her birth at the city’s Singleton Hospital after the umbilical cord became trapped around her neck.

Rhiannon was effectively dead for eight minutes and when she was brought round she showed signs of severe damage to the cells in her central nervous system.

She was diagnosed with tetraplegic cerebral palsy. Her disability means she is entirely dependent on her family and carers. She cannot speak, walk or stand and cannot sit up unaided. She has serious visual problems and profound learning difficulties.

Thompsons Solicitors helped family to claim compensation

Her parents, Jayne and Brian, who also have a six week old daughter called Ava, instructed Thompsons Solicitors to pursue compensation so they could provide for Rhiannon for the rest of her life.

Thompsons argued that Jayne should have undergone continuous monitoring while giving birth and were able to secure the compensation for the family after Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University NHS Trust admitted breach of duty and settled the claim out of court.

The damages come after the local community came together to help raise over £10,000 to pay for Rhiannon to go to Key Largo in America to receive 10 physiotherapy therapy sessions and to swim with Dolphins.

By the end of the trip Rhiannon’s ability to make and communicate choices was increased and her ability to hold her head and visualise was improved.

Compensation will allow adaptations to be made to Rhiannon's home

Rhiannon’s dad said: “This money will give us financial security to provide for all Rhiannon’s needs and enable us to make her life as happy as possible. We have been waiting for this outcome to be able to afford to make adaptations to our home that will make life easier for her.”

Former postman Brian added: “We thank the Lord that Rhiannon survived her birth and when she smiles it is just fantastic and makes up for all the hard work. We are so proud of her.

“We are also thankful to the local community for helping us fundraise to allow Rhaiannon to go to Florida. Without their support Rhiannon would not have been able to make such big advances.”

Cathryn Davies from Thompsons Solicitors added: “We are pleased to have been able to help Jayne, Brian and Rhiannon. Rhiannon’s disability could have been avoided if correct procedures had been followed at the birth.

“Sadly it was only through lengthy and difficult litigation that Rhiannon’s long terms needs could be assessed and the cost of them calculated. The litigation also ensures that poor medical procedures are fully investigated and hopefully lessons learned to improve NHS standards of care during labour and the delivery of babies.”

This news story was also published by The South Wales Evening Post.