A young dad from Blackwood has been awarded £450,000 in compensation 23 years after he was born unable to use his left arm following errors made by doctors during his birth.
Jamie Lewis, 23, of Woodfield Street, Blackwood, was left with a permanent disability after doctors failed to act in time when he became stuck in the birth canal during a complicated delivery.
The family’s solicitors successfully argued the medical team at Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, were negligent in their actions, applying excessive force when trying to free him.
By failing to follow the correct protocols, the medical staff caused damage to the nerves in Jamie’s neck, which resulted in paralysis in his left arm and hand.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board accepted the claim and apologised for the failing.
Jamie’s mother, Cheryl Lewis-Thomas, first decided to pursue a claim against the local health board when Jamie was four after seeing him struggle through his childhood.
She said: “Jamie had a tough childhood growing up with no use in his arm. He was unable to play with other children, use his bicycle and the appearance of his arm also made him a target for bullying. I knew the way he was treated during the birth wasn’t right and it wasn’t any fault of his own.”
Despite Jamie’s disability, the first law firm approached refused to take on the claim. Expecting she would just get the same response from other law firms, Mrs Lewis-Thomas dropped the case until she visited a fortune teller a couple of years later.
Mrs Lewis-Thomas continued: “I visited a psychic in Wales who told me that my son would win a claim and she could see us very happy. I thought we had nothing to lose so Jamie decided to give the claim another go.”
Mr Lewis’ solicitor Emma Jordan of Fletchers Solicitors, said: “If the hospital had admitted the problem when it first occurred then the client’s recovery would likely have been far better. Unfortunately, it took over 20 years for Jamie and his mum to achieve justice for what happened. The compensation secured for Jamie takes into account the extent of the injuries he suffered and his future needs, and will allow him to enjoy an optimistic future with his wife and two children.”
A spokesperson for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “Procedures have been reviewed and actions taken to improve care as a result of this case.”