A former Louth boy could receive up to £6.5 million in compensation after a Grimsby hospital admitted mistakes that caused him to be born with brain damage.
The settlement was awarded to Cody Lyster-Hughes, formerly of Lacey Gardens in Louth, following an eight-and-a-half year legal battle.
Cody’s mother Caroline Lyster was admitted to Diana Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby in April 2005 with an infection when she was seven-and-a-half months pregnant.
She was treated with antibiotics and steroids but after just a day of treatment she was discharged from hospital before a pathology report was produced.
In fact, tests showed that she had e-coli. The bacteria could have been killed by further treatment but by the time she was re-admitted to hospital four days later the infection had already passed to the foetus.
She gave birth on April 10, seven weeks premature, and Cody was delivered with brain damage.
Cody, now nine years old, has cerebral palsy with development problems. His speech is limited, and he will never stand or walk independently.
He is permanently wheelchair-dependent and requires 24-hour care for the remainder of his life including all aspects of toiletry, hygiene and dressing. Cody is also vulnerable to lower-limb deformities, which may require surgery.
Cody, who now lives with his family in Cornwall, was awarded a settlement of an immediate lump sum of £2.75 million and future payments to meet his ongoing care for the rest of his life, after the hospital Trust admitted liability.
The settlement was formally approved in the High Court in Hull earlier this month and a full apology was given to Cody and his family by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Cody’s father, Carl Hughes, said: “We are relieved that we can put this behind us and get on with our lives.
“Of course, Cody’s life and his future have been devastated by this and no settlement can change that.
“But at least we can make sure he has every possible chance of leading as fulfilling a life as possible because we will be able to provide him with the best care and facilities available.
“We want to thank our legal team at Bridge McFarland for supporting us through this traumatic time and helping us fight for justice for Cody.”
Bridge McFarland partner Stephen Lambert from Louth, who led the case, said: “The settlement will guarantee that Cody receives the care and treatment which he will need for the remainder of his life. “Now that the family have suitable accommodation and can get professional help when it is needed, we hope some normality can be restored to the lives of Cody and his family.”
Wendy Booth, director of performance assurance across Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Trust is pleased that agreement has been reached with the parents of Cody Lyster-Hughes in respect of his claim arising from the antenatal management which led to premature labour and Cody’s cerebral palsy.
“An apology has been provided and a settlement agreed which will be used to secure Cody’s future and provide him with the care and therapies he requires.
“The Trust regrets the lapse in standards which led to Cody suffering this injury and wishes Cody and his family well for the future.”