A girl left severely disabled after two hospitals made errors before and after she was born has received a £5million pay out to try to make her life more comfortable, writes Tristan Cork.
Louisa Ravouvou, now ten, won the compensation in the High Court yesterday to pay for a package of care for the rest of her life, after health chiefs in both Swindon and Oxford admitted their errors led to her disabilities.
She suffered severe brain damage as a result of bleeding in her brain while still in the womb.
Her mother was admitted to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but the hospital failed to respond appropriately to the bleed and Mrs Ravouvou stayed in hospital for a week.
On October 31, 2003, it was decided she should be delivered, but there were no "special care" beds at Oxford, so she was transferred to Swindon's Great Western Hospital.
The GWH was told in the hand-over that baby Louisa was likely to be anaemic, but the courts found there was a breach of duty of care by the GWH in failing to make appropriate arrangements for Louisa to receive a blood transfusion within half an hour of the birth.
As a result, Louisa collapsed soon after birth and suffered brain damage. Both health trusts admitted breaches in the duty of care, but denied that the bleed was responsible for Louisa's current disabilities – until just before a planned meeting to try to negotiate a settlement before the case went to court.
The family's lawyer, Sue Jarvis, said the £5 million would mean a great deal for Louisa.
"Today's settlement means that Louisa will receive a package to provide care for the rest of her life," she said.
"Louisa's family have already moved to specialist accommodation which will be adapted to meet her needs.
"Although Louisa is severely disabled she has a delightful disposition and potential to be able to indicate her preferences and her specialist accommodation and care team will try to improve her quality of life."