Ethan was born with a heart condition. When he was eight months old, he went into surgery to correct his heart condition and everything seemed positive. He grew into a happy and healthy toddler, doing everything a kid his age should be doing. At around 18 months old, Ethan underwent a procedure to assess the function of his heart. During that procedure he suffered a serious brain injury due to medical negligence.
During the procedure his heart rate slowed to the point that not enough blood was being pumped to the rest of his body, causing a lack of oxygen to his brain. It was at this point that Ethan’s life was irreversibly changed and his future took on a very different course.
On account of his brain injury, Ethan requires extensive full time care, and is reliant on his family to move him, wash him, feed him and care for him. He cannot speak or eat and has lost his sight. His family have developed ways to effectively communicate with him, and his dad Dan has become his full time carer.
Due to the severity of his injury Ethan will live a different life than he would have had the negligence not happened. Ethan’s brain injury meant that he needed extensive care, equipment and support for the rest of his life which comes at a huge expense. Such support is not accessible through government-based schemes to the full extent that was needed for Ethan, and due to the financial need this was creating, his parents had to work. This meant they couldn’t dedicate the time required to care for him due to the mounting financial pressure.
The family came to Shine Lawyers when Ethan was seven years of age. Caring for a child with complex needs can become more challenging as a child grows older, and the family were realising that they needed help. It was obvious from the outset how much love Ethan’s family have for him, and the commitment they were making to ensure that Ethan could live his best possible life.
Shine Lawyers Medical Negligence expert, Clare Eves says: “Shine’s Medical Negligence team was able to help, and we secured an outcome for Ethan that would allow him to be supported and fully cared for now and into the future. To ensure Ethan’s needs were fully met we spent a lot of time with the family to fully understand what Ethan needed and what support or services may be available to the family in the family in their local community.”
Ethan now has long term access to the care, equipment and support that he needs which has gone a long way to relieving some of the pressure on his parents. The family now have the right equipment and a fully modified vehicle to allow Ethan the freedom to go on family trips, as well as making attending medical appointments a lot easier.
“It has been amazing to see what the Allen family has achieved with the right help and support and how much flexibility and freedom Ethan now has,” says Clare.