Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Liverpool hospital payout for birth paralysis girl

Natalia Lees
Natalia wants to compete in the paralympics in 2016

A girl from Merseyside whose arm was paralysed during childbirth has been awarded a six-figure payout.

Natalia Lees, 11, has Erb's Palsy which is caused by the arm's main nerves being ripped from the spinal cord.

During the birth at University Hospital Aintree her shoulders were lodged above her mother's pelvis and nerve damage was caused as she was pulled out.

Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust has accepted full responsibility and paid out an undisclosed amount.

The trust apologised to Natalia, and her family, and paid the settlement after the family won a battle at the High Court in November.

Natalia's mother, Karen Lees, was also injured during labour.

Shortly after giving birth to Natalia, who weighed 8lb 7oz (3.8kg), she was rushed into theatre having lost a large amount of blood.

'Constant pain'

Mrs Lees, a former nursery nurse, who now looks after Natalia full time, said: "I couldn't even hug my little baby after she was born.

"She was surrounded by paediatricians and nurses. One of them lifted her arm up and it just flopped back on to the bed.

"It was horrible, we were put on a ward with other happy mothers and their beautiful babies.

"They were breast-feeding, but I couldn't feed Natalia because she was in constant pain.

Natalia Lees shortly after she was born
The nerve damage was caused as Natalia was born

"Since the apology I feel like a weight has been lifted and I have not cried when talking about the birth trauma since."

Natalia, who has to take medication everyday to combat the pain, is an accomplished swimmer and has her sights set on on the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.

The family's solicitor Caitlin Delaney from Irwin Mitchell said the award reflected the severity of Natalia's nerve injury.

A spokesman for Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust said: "Liverpool Women's regrets the care that Natalia received fell below the standard expected.

"We confirm that responsibility and since Natalia's birth at the University Hospital Aintree there have been a number of organisational changes in the way in which obstetric services are provided in the Merseyside area.

"The Trust has previously apologised to Natalia's family for the events which led to Natalia suffering injuries."

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