Brave Nicola's gymnastics joy

By Dave GooderhamA NINE-year-old girl who received a record amount of compensation after suffering a terrible birth has found an unusual way to take part in the sport she loves.

By Dave Gooderham

A NINE-year-old girl who received a record amount of compensation after suffering a terrible birth has found an unusual way to take part in the sport she loves.

For many people, losing the use of one arm would seem like the end of the world, but Nicola Sidney, who suffers from Erb's Palsy, has not let her disability prevent her from taking part in gymnastics.

Nicola's hard work and determination has paid off after achieving every gymnastic badge at All Saints Primary School in Lawshall.


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“I am very pleased with the badges and the medals. I love gymnastics and dancing and I will continue doing both when I go to Hardwick Middle School in September,” she said.

Nicola's mother, Sue, added: “I am very proud of Nicola's achievements, she is a very special girl. She has such determination for a young girl and she does all the things any young girl would do, just in her own little way.”

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Liz Bowkett, headteacher of All Saint's Primary School, believes Nicola and fellow nine-year-old pupil Georgia James were its first pupils to complete every gymnastic badge.

“This has never been achieved in the history of the gymnastics club, so we are very proud of both of them,” she said

“They are both very determined girls and the fact Nicola does everything with one arm is a major achievement.

“Nicola's disability has not affected her at all, she is a very determined little lady and her love of dance and gymnastics has also helped - she is a very talented and flexible.”

Nicola, whose right arm is virtually useless, was awarded £250,000 compensation by the High Court in London in May.

The sum was believed to be the highest recorded award for the type of injury suffered by the youngster.

Nicola, who lives in Hawstead, sustained nerve damage after being born by forceps delivery at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, in February 1994.

The court heard the hospital accepted liability and Nicola had since had had four operations, but doctors felt her damaged nerves could not be helped further by any surgery available today.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk

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