A girl left facing a lifetime of disability after being struck down by meningitis following her birth at Maidstone Hospital is suing the NHS for millions in damages.
Lawyers claim she contracted the often deadly brain bug during her mother’s labour at the Hermitage Lane hospital in 2007.
The infection damaged her brain so badly that she will need help and assistance from others for the rest of her life.
Now 10, she has cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and is epileptic and requires round-the-clock care.
In a writ issued at the High Court, her lawyers are now suing the NHS for damages to fund the cost of a lifetime’s care.
They claim the “negligence” of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust staff was the direct cause of her injury.
Staff failed to “recognise and respond appropriately” to worrying signs in the newborn baby, her lawyers allege in the writ.
“These signs were not normal and should have alerted midwifery staff to the possibility of developing post-natal complications” – Julian Matthews
She had been feeding poorly, was “jittery”, premature and underweight and was showing signs of respiratory distress, they claim.
“These signs were not normal and should have alerted midwifery staff to the possibility of developing post-natal complications and the need for urgent paediatric review,” barrister, Julian Matthews, writes in the document.
Had she received the urgent attention of a paediatrician, she “would not have sustained any, or any significant, permanent damage”, he claims.
The NHS trust’s defence was not available from the court and the allegations made in the writ have yet to be tested before a judge.