Northampton mum's hope 'no other child has to go through what mine did' after 11-year legal battle over daughter's brain injuries
"I hope anyone reading this has the confidence to speak out about any worries they have with the care being provided to them"
A Northampton mum who fought an 11-year legal battle over her daughter Megan's catastrophic brain injury resulting from failed maternity care says no other child should have to go through the same trauma.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust agreed to pay almost £19 million compensation to help fund a lifetime of care for Megan, who has cerebral palsy.
Following a bitter fight led by medical negligence specialists Enable Law, hospital bosses finally admitted the baby could have been delivered earlier and not suffered her injuries if Sarah's concerns had not been ignored.
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Megan's mother, Sarah Ryall, revealed how she was sent home from hospital the day before she gave birth despite telling staff she was 13 days past her due date, felt like her baby was moving less and had started contractions.
Sarah said: "I believe there were many faults with the care provided to Megan and me in the period leading up to Megan's delivery, including inadequate monitoring and delays for a doctor review.
“This was compounded by the refusal to admit the mistakes that had been made and a lack of support from the trust afterwards.
“I now want other expectant mothers to trust their own instincts and 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 has significant learning and communication difficulties and her need for round-the-clock-care forced Sarah to give up working as a scientist — affecting her own mental health.
She added: "I hope anyone reading or hearing about this has the confidence to speak out about any worries they have with the care being provided to them and to pursue these with the midwives or maternity wards.
“There needs to be an increase in training and supervision in dealing with parental concerns as mine were not taken seriously, along with those of many other expectant mothers.
“When problems have occurred, communication between medical staff and families needs to be clear but sensitive. Parents need emotional and psychological as well as practical support.
"In addition, there needs to be much more support for those families with children that have cerebral palsy, whether they have a claim against the NHS or not.
“Therapies and facilities available through the NHS, social services and local education authorities are inadequate for children with complex disabilities and needs like Megan.
"Under the present system, families have to fight really hard for every little bit of help.
"The support we have received from friends, family, the charity PEEPS-HIE and Enable Law has been invaluable. This has been a long process which has caused so much stress.
“Now the case is closed, Megan will have a lifetime home that is safe and adapted to her needs and she will have 24-hour specialist care and support throughout her life.
"It will also enable her to enjoy simple pleasures: a special needs tricycle for her to explore the great outdoors and access to symbol software that helps her to read and communicate."
■ Enable Law is a sponsor of this years' Action Cerebral Palsy Westminster reception on March 21, launching the charity's impact report for 2022.