March 9, 2012

International Children with Cerebral Palsy Receiving Surgery That Some Local Residents Cannot Afford

by Levin & Perconti

Advances in surgical options for those with certain birth injuries—including cerebral palsy—has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of those living with these disabilities. Blog readers have likely been following along as new research continues to pour out which offers hope to both prevent certain birth injuries as well as to correct problems affecting sufferers after the fact. From stem cell research treatments to new bone and muscle surgeries, our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys appreciate that there is much to be excited about in this area.

For example, CBS Local reported this week on one boy with cerebral palsy who traveled all the way from Ecuador to have a novel surgery performed to help correct bone problems. The surgery is not available in his home country, but the potential benefits were so important that the family decided to travel several thousand miles to have the operation done here. This is a similar story shared by many foreign visitors who travel here to have still-novel medical procedures performed on injured loved ones.

This particular boy had always had immense trouble walking as a result of bone problems stemming from his cerebral palsy birth injury. His knees were bent inward, making it impossible for him to stand straight up. He was forced to drag his feet as he walked and could not do it without the aid of a walker. The boy’ s doctor noted that he was forced to use four times as much energy as a normal child to walk. To correct the problem, he traveled to the U.S. for corrective surgery that involved repairs on ten different bones. The single, multilevel surgery realigned the bones as well as several joints. In addition, the child’s knees were straightened and his feet were realigned. As a result, the boy is able to walk straight and upright.

Stories like this one are incredibly heartwarming and a testament to the amazing work of so many excellent medical practitioners and researchers in our area. However, it remains true that some who suffer from cerebral palsy and other conditions are not so lucky to be able to have access to the medical procedures and day-to-day resources that might make their lives better. Instead, many are forced to get by on the bare minimum, limited by their access to financial resources that provide the best medical care, equipment, therapy and the like. Each Illinois cerebral palsy attorney at our firm believes this is unacceptable, especially in situations where the underlying medical condition itself was caused by the misconduct of a third party.

When a mother and child do not receive a level of medical care that the law demands at birth, leading to preventable birth injuries, it is clear that the negligent staff must play a role in providing redress and accounting for the error. This usually takes the form of a birth injury lawsuit, where the family is represented by a lawyer who works with the representatives from the hospital to seek accountability and provide redress in the form of financial resources so that the injured child has access all the care needed to account for his or her special needs throughout their lives.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injuries Often Have Lifelong Consequences