£13m Care Payout For Walsall Boy Left Brain Damaged At Birth

A Walsall boy who will always have the mind of a six-year-old is to receive a compensation package from a West Midlands NHS trust for a lifetime of care and support worth £13 million.

The 11-year-old, who cannot be identified, will always need constant attention and will never be able to work - but is expected to live until he is 81.

The boy, who lives with his mother and father, suffered brain damage following his birth at Walsall Hospital in November 2003, when his abnormally low sugar levels were not treated.

He now has the mind of a six-year-old with no prospect of improvement, Christopher Johnston QC told London's High Court.

He is blind with weakness down his left side and has speech problems, a severe learning disability and profound behavioural issues.

Despite his problems, his mother described him as an "incredibly happy and lovely boy'' who enjoyed weekly outings when he went swimming, bowling and going to a disco or McDonald's.

The agreed damages awarded against Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust include a lump sum of £1.45 million and annual index-linked payments of £88,000 until the boy is 16, then £120,000 until he is 20 and £145,000 a year from then on.

There are also payments to cover physiotherapy, occupational therapy, additional holiday costs and loss of earnings.

Mr Johnston told Mr Justice Holgate, who approved the settlement, that it meant that around £13 million in real money would be paid out over his lifetime.

Richard Mumford, counsel for the Trust, offered its "deep regret'' that the boy did not receive the standard of care that he and his family were entitled to.

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