A LAW firm based in Swindon helped the family of a 14-year-old boy who suffered a catastrophic birth injury secure a multi-million pound award from the NHS trust responsible.

RWK Goodman advised the teenager’s family in a 13-year-long legal case after Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust made mistakes during his delivery which means he now requires around-the-clock care.

The boy – referred to by the courts as EBZ - is unable to swallow or speak, relies on a wheelchair for mobility, suffers seizures, must be fed through a tube, is doubly incontinent and registered blind.

He cannot use his hands to assist in his daily living and is non-verbal but can communicate through facial expressions.

His care needs are expected to become increasingly complex as he gets older. The hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury he suffered at birth shortened his life expectancy to 29 years.

A High Court decision made on May 16 awarded EBZ’s parents a lump sum of £4,554,670 alongside an annual payment of £230,672 until his 19th birthday, which will then increase to £330,672 for the remainder of his life.

Deputy High Court Judge Richard Hermer QC said: “It is clear that notwithstanding the severity, he is a special young person that delights in the company of his younger sister, takes joy and comfort in activities at school such as the hydrotherapy pool or having his teeth brushed by a parent.

“The statements from his parents and the photographs they provided shows he has enjoyed special times with his father at the football and with his mother and sister at the London Aquarium. Mum [says] she is filled with joy when her son smiles and giggles.”

The RWK Goodman team advising EBZ and his family included partner Richard Coleman and partner and head of the firm’s injury team Tracy Norris-Evans, supported by a team of 13 medical experts.

More than 20 experts were involved altogether.

After initial investigations and discussions with the defendant, the NHS trust admitted fault, which allowed the family’s lawyers to quickly obtain interim payments which will help the relatives pay for resources and equipment for their son’s needs.

The final award provides financial protection and security for the rest of his life.

Lucy Crawford is a senior associate in the law firm’s medical negligence team. She said: “This is a highly unusual and complex case. Whilst no family would want to be put in this position, the court’s decision is extremely rewarding.

"It will allow EBZ to receive the care he needs and deserves and to live the best possible life he can have.

“He is a smiling, happy boy and I really hope this award will allow his parents to enjoy time as parents once more, and not have to focus on his care.

“Throughout the claim, the parents have been utterly dedicated to EBZ and always focused on what he can do and achieve. I am looking forward to finding out about his successes as he grows older, and pay tribute to his family and friends.”