Teenager awarded £7m compensation

A TEENAGE epilepsy sufferer who was left with learning difficulties when doctors at a Suffolk hospital failed to treat him properly after his birth has been awarded almost £7 million compensation.

A TEENAGE epilepsy sufferer who was left with learning difficulties when doctors at a Suffolk hospital failed to treat him properly after his birth has been awarded almost £7 million compensation.

Christian Raphael, now 19, has severe cognitive and learning difficulties after suffering an epilepsy fit following his birth at Newmarket Hospital.

Health chiefs admitted failings in diagnosing and treating the youngster's condition in the aftermath of his birth when he was born with low blood sugar levels.

The youngster has now been awarded the landmark payment after a compensation package was agreed between legal teams on the eve of a planned 10-day trial at London's High Court.


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His mother, Vicki, who was praised by Mr Justice Wilkie for her devotion to her son, last night declined to comment on the decision but paid tribute to the “unstinting support” she had received from local carers.

Speaking from her home in Cambridge, Ms Raphael confirmed the family would receive a lump sum of £1.9 million and 22 periodical payments, each worth £223,000, after solicitors on behalf of the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge Strategic Health Authority admitted failings on the part of medical staff during the incident in October 1986.

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The money, which the High Court said would cover for the teenager's “pain and suffering”, will help pay for a new home and his future care needs, the family said.

Ms Raphael told the EADT: “We would just like to thank all of Christian's amazing care team for their unstinting support throughout the years.”

A spokesman for the High Court yesterday said a trial was scrapped at the eleventh hour after both parties were able to agree a suitable compensation package - and health chiefs issued a full apology to the family for the “lack of care” which led to the teenager's injuries.

A SHA spokesman said: “The Strategic Health Authority, as the successor organisation, would like to take this opportunity to apologise on behalf of the former West Suffolk and Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authorities for the failure to diagnose and treat Christian's medical condition on 30 October 1986.

“The respective legal representatives have worked together to agree an appropriate level of compensation and, although such a payment can never fully compensate in such circumstances, hope it will at last provide Christian with a level of support and security for the future. The SHA wish Christian and his family all the best for the future.”

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