Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer Promotes Hope and Help for CP Parents
Cerebral Palsy is a devastating brain injury that can occur when medical providers do not follow well known procedures when treating expecting mothers and their newborns. One example is when a doctor or nurse fails to respond to obvious signs of fetal distress before birth. These dangerous signs of distress are evident through the fetal monitor placed on a mother’s belly while she is in labor. The baby’s heart rate is continuously printed out on the monitor strip and should be regularly checked by doctors and nurses to assure that the baby is doing well.
When signs of fetal distress are overlooked, one of the consequences, cerebral palsy, can be devastating. One of life’s most amazing moments, the birth of a healthy child, becomes a very difficult, if not impossible, responsibility for the parents. They usually progress from initial shock, disbelief and self-blame to the emotional and physical strain of single handedly trying to care for a child with cerebral palsy. Most do not stay together.
In their quest for help, information and understanding, many parents of CP children have come to our law firm. This is what Mary and Tom Wells did when their daughter, Tara, was four years old. Mary’s initial reaction to her daughter’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was similar to what many CP parents feel : “Devastatingly stupid. We didn’t know anything about cerebral palsy. What it would mean for her, what it would mean for us, what it would mean for her brother, her physical well-being, her education. We knew nothing.”
Unknown to Mary and Tom, Tara was not receiving enough oxygen during Mary’s labor and the medical staff at the hospital were not responding to Tara’s obvious signs of fetal distress, particularly her very low heart rates as evidenced on the fetal monitor strip. Tara was born blue and floppy, with no heartbeat and was not breathing. Due to her extreme lack of oxygen in the moments before her birth, Tara suffered cerebral palsy. She now cannot do even the most basic daily activities, like feed herself, dress, bathe, walk or communicate.
Our firm investigated Tara’s case, brought a claim on her behalf, and was able to provide the information, help, funding and understanding her family needed to move forward and secure her future. As Tom and Mary told us, “We were barely surviving, just every day, the emotions and the tasks of every day, we were not able to ever look beyond one day, this moment. Now we can move forward.” The recovery our firm obtained for Tara and her family provided tens of millions of dollars for her needs over her lifetime. With the help of our firm, Mary and Tom found hope and a better future for Tara.