THE family of an eight-year-old boy who was born severely disabled have had their hopes of winning multi-million-pound compensation to pay for his care dashed by a top judge.
Josh Tippett from Lincoln Chase, Southend, suffered brain damage when his umbilical cord collapsed before his delivery at St Thomas’ Hospital, in central London, in November 2005.
He was born “effectively lifeless”
and would have died had medics not fought to revive him.
Josh was left suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy, as well as a catalogue of serious disabilities which confine him to a wheelchair.
He will be dependent on round-the-clock care for the rest of his life.
At London’s High Court, his parents, Karyn and Martin, fought to prove there was a negligent delay in his delivery and sought damages on his behalf from the Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust.
However, while expressing his regret at the lifelong injuries Josh suffered, Mr Justice Dingemans yesterday dismissed the family claim.
It means Josh won’t receive a penny in compensation.
The judge rejected claims thatamidwife had failed to spot ominous signs of foetal distress before Josh’s birth and ruled that, even if events had developed differently, he would not have been delivered in time to escape brain damage.
The judge said: “I should leave the final words to Josh’s grandfather, Robert Clark. He gave evidence and listened with dignity to the whole case.
“He asked if he might correct one thing which had been suggested in court. He said it was wrong to say Josh was a burden; he said Josh was, and is, a blessing to the family.”
Describing the tragic events on the day of Josh's birth, the judge said his heart rate had plummeted abruptly just before 2pm.
The midwife pushed the emergency buzzer minutes later and Josh was born by emergency caesarean section within half an hour of the alarm being raised.
By the time he came into the world, his heart had stopped and he had to be resuscitated.
The case centred around the disconnection of a trace used to monitor Josh’s vital signs for about an hour and a half before the crisis developed.
The judge found the midwife was not responsible for that and ruled that, even had the trace remained in place as it should have done, the tragic outcome would have been no different.
In the past, the family has had to hold fundraising events to raisemoney for Josh to have the specialist treatment he has needed.
They raised £3,000 for the youngster to have special therapy and exercises, at the Advance Centre, in West Sussex, which specialises in the Scotson technique which focuses on strengthening the chest and stomach muscles associated with breathing to improve blood supply and, along with it, nerve and muscle connections