Northampton girl's £19 million compensation from Oxford hospital after family's 11-year battle over failed maternity care
Megan left with significant learning and communication difficulties and needs round-the-clock care after mum's concerns were ignored
A young Northampton girl has been awarded nearly £19 million following her family's legal battle over catastrophic brain injuries sustained during birth.
The money will fund life-time care, equipment, therapies, and accommodation for 11-year-old Megan who has cerebral palsy as a result of failings in hospital maternity care.
Megan's mum, Sarah Ryall, was sent home from hospital the day before she gave birth even though she told staff she was 13 days past her due date, felt like her baby was moving less and had started contractions.
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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted that Megan could have been delivered earlier and not been left with significant learning and communication difficulties and needing round-the-clock care.
Sarah, who has given up her job as a scientist to care for Megan — adversely affecting her mental health — said: “We are relieved that Megan will now have the care that she needs and deserves.
"This has been a long process with many difficulties, which has caused so much stress for the family.
"Megan was let down by the maternity care system. I voiced my concerns during my final days of pregnancy and was not listened to.
“I now want other expectant mothers to trust their own instincts and to feel empowered to voice any concerns they may have about their pregnancy in the hope that no other child has to go through the same trauma."
Megan's father has also had to take on a less demanding and lower paid job so that he can be on-hand to help care for his daughter when needed.
Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We would like to reiterate our sincere apologies for the standard of care that was provided to this patient and her mother in 2010, which regrettably was not in accordance with the high standards that the trust and our staff aim to deliver.
“We recognise that the injuries have been very distressing and significant for this patient and her family, and that their pursuit of this claim would have been an extremely difficult time for them.
“While the settlement of this case can never truly compensate for what has happened, I very much hope that the settlement that has been reached will support this patient’s present, and future care and support needs.”
Kym Provan, partner at medical negligence specialists Enable Law, who led on the case, added: "This is a very substantial win for the family. Cerebral palsy affects every child differently and in Megan's case her injuries were even more complex because she also sustained damage to her hearing and hip at around the time of her birth.
“However, we worked with Megan's family — who have been incredible throughout the process — to secure an outcome that will hopefully make Megan's life a little bit more comfortable."