How a courageous Yorkshire boy with cerebral palsy is determined to live life to the full
The mother of a Leeds youngster living with cerebral palsy has opened up about helping her son live his life to the full.
Harry Allott was born at Leeds General Infirmary via a forceps-assisted delivery in January 2017.
Shortly afterwards, he deteriorated and was diagnosed as suffering a significant intracranial haemorrhage - a brain bleed - which required an emergency decompression.
As a result Harry sustained a brain injury and has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy - the condition is a group of disorders that affects movement and coordination.
It is the most common motor disability in childhood with one in 400 babies estimated to be born every year with some form of it in the UK.
Mother Jennifer Waddington, 30, said it was initially "very difficult" to accept that Harry had cerebral palsy, as he was her first child and her pregnancy was classed as low risk.
However shortly after delivery, Harry became unwell and developed bruising. Following investigation, he was found to have sustained brain damage.
He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged two, and was referred for physiotherapy and splinting.
Despite these challenges, the four-year-old, who has left-sided weakness, cognitive difficulties, behavioural issues and anxiety, each day has a smile on his face.
Jennifer said: "He enjoys life and is an inspiration to everyone he meets.
"While we can’t change the daily challenges he continues to face, we are very fortunate that he has been able to access specialist treatment to help him progress with his mobility and cognitive development."
Harry, who has a younger sister Ivy, attends nursery and will start school in September.
Prior to this, he will be assessed for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) which will provide the support that he needs for his education, but also his health needs during his time at school.
Jennifer said: "We are determined to help him live life to the full and he is really looking forward to starting school in September.
"He has a great sense of adventure and is so resilient... He is a very cheeky little boy and loves getting up to mischief with Ivy."
She added: "We are so proud of him and the way he overcomes his challenges."
For the future the mother-of-two added Harry has expressed interest in helping members of the public, although he's undecided on his calling in life just yet.
"He says he wants to be a police man, fireman and a bus driver when he grows up, he's still undecided," Jennifer said.
Following Harry’s diagnosis, Jennifer instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate Harry’s birth and the care her son had received under the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Leeds General Infirmary.
After investigation by Irwin Mitchell, the NHS Trust admitted liability in so far as “the forceps blades were positioned incorrectly” at the time of Harry’s delivery, resulting in a bleed on the brain and left-sided weakness.
The Trust has since agreed an interim payment to help fund Harry’s care and issued an apology to Harry’s family for the “failings in the care.”
Rachelle Mahapatra, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Harry and his family, said: “Harry has had a difficult start in life due to his cerebral palsy, but he is such a happy little boy and is a great example of not letting physical barriers get in the way of doing what you want to do.
"He continues to make great progress and is set to start school later this year, where I have no doubt he will thrive."
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