Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Friday, 17 October 2008 16:28 UK

Girl, 9, wins 3.3m medical claim

Caitlin Lang with her mother Nicola
Caitlin was not diagnosed with pneumococcal meningitis for two days

A nine-year-old girl has won a 3.3m medical negligence payout after her GP failed to diagnose meningitis which left her with severe cerebral palsy.

Caitlin Lang, from Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan cannot sit or feed herself and has profound learning difficulties.

Her neurological injuries resulted from a two-day delay in referring her to hospital when she was three-months-old.

Her mother, Nicola, 29, said the money would ensure the round-the-clock care and attention her daughter needs.

She said: "No amount of money will compensate Caitlin's loss of leading a normal life and I'm very sad that I will never see her as the happy, healthy little girl that I know she would have been."

The judgement announced by Ms Lang's legal team said the mother suspected meningitis when she took her daughter to the GP in January 2000.

Dr Salih hopes that the agreed financial settlement will enable Caitlin and her family to have the appropriate financial security for the future
Statement from the GP

The GP failed to diagnose the first signs of pneumococcal meningitis.

The ruling found Caitlin would have "gone on to lead a normal and fulfilled life" had she received the treatment she needed when her symptoms were first suspected.

Ms Lang said the settlement would enable Caitlin to stay at Craig-y-Parc School in Cardiff until she is 19.

She added: "Many people don't realise just how much money you need to take care of a person with severe disabilities.

"We all take things for granted in life, but Caitlin's reality is that she can't do even the smallest of things, like sitting up or feeding herself.

Caitlin Lang cannot sit or feed herself and has profound learning difficulties.

"We need technology that not only moves her around but actually supports her in a seated position as she can't support herself - this alone costs a huge amount of money.

"Although the money will help Caitlin lead a better life, it can't buy back the past. I'm just pleased that she is at least guaranteed to get the schooling she deserves."

She added Caitlin also needed regular physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, although she will never be able to speak properly.

Andrew Davies from Hugh James Solicitors advised Ms Lang on the claim.

He said: "Although Caitlin enjoys good health, she is by no means able to enjoy life as a normal little girl would, which puts a huge amount of strain on her family, as it does for every family supporting a loved one with cerebral palsy."

A statement issued on behalf of the GP said: "Dr Salih is very aware of Caitlin's serious disability and the impact this will have had on her family.

"While no amount of money can remedy the situation, Dr Salih hopes that the agreed financial settlement will enable Caitlin and her family to have the appropriate financial security for the future."




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