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Mother’s legal fight over birth

PUBLISHED: 18:05 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:26 25 August 2010

THE mother of a two-year-old boy left disabled after he was starved of oxygen at birth has launched a legal battle for compensation of more than £6 million.

THE mother of a two-year-old boy left disabled after he was starved of oxygen at birth has launched a legal battle for compensation of more than £6 million. Harley Nicallef-Nelson from New Eltham was starved of oxygen during his birth at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich and is now profoundly disabled, according to a High Court writ. Harley's mother Brady Micallef-Nelson, of Keightley Drive, New Eltham, is claiming damages from Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.

He was born on January 4, 2006 by emergency Caesarean section after attempts to deliver him by other methods - including Ventouse suction cup and forceps - failed, according to the writ filed on Monday. But during his birth the umbilical cord was compressed, depriving him of oxygen, and leading to cerebral palsy affecting his arms and legs, it is alleged.

He should have been delivered more than two hours earlier and if he had been, he would probably have been born unharmed, it is claimed. Harley suffers from spasms, epilepsy, severe developmental delay, small eyes, abnormal posturing, and continuous involuntary movements of his tongue, head, neck, and arms, which become exaggerated when he tries to move, or is excited or distressed. He cannot walk, or use his hands skilfully, swallows poorly, and cannot communicate effectively. He will never be able to work, and will be dependent on others for all activities of daily living for the rest of his life, the writ claims.

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