Norfolk

Norfolk teenager left brain-damaged at birth given £4m

A severely disabled teenager from Norfolk has won more than £4m in compensation from the NHS.

Tahlia Jade Downes, 15, of Hellesdon, near Norwich, was left with severe brain injuries after her birth at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital in 1995.

Her brain was starved of oxygen, leaving her with cerebral palsy and wheelchair-dependent.

A High Court judge has approved the settlement from the hospital which will pay for the lifetime of care she needs.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall told the court how Tahlia, who she said had grown into a "very pretty girl", was delivered using forceps on 22 June.

She was the third child born to her mother Dawn Downes.

After a prolonged and troubled labour, Tahlia suffered permanent brain damage.

This led to severe and lasting mental and physical disabilities and affected her vision, the court heard.

Parents' loving care

Through her mother, Tahlia took the NHS trust to court, claiming that medics were to blame for the injuries because they failed to carry out a Caesarean section at an earlier stage.

The trust denied that any action on the part of its staff caused Tahlia's injuries.

They agreed that the teenager should be compensated on the basis of 70% of a full valuation of her claim.

Mrs Justice Thirlwall paid tribute to Tahlia's family and her parents.

She said: "It is not for the first time in this court that I am privileged to observe and read about the loving care given to children by their parents and family.

"I have no doubt that Tahlia is as well as she is because of the enduring care of her parents and her brothers. I salute you all."

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