Parents campaign to raise awareness of son’s condition

Ollie Lewis

Ollie Lewis - Credit: Archant

THE parents of a Worle boy – who recently celebrated his third birthday despite predictions he would not live past a day old – are backing a charity campaign to raise awareness of their son’s condition.

Ollie developed cerebral palsy after complications during his birth, and now his mum and dad are supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day to raise awareness of the condition and the everyday challenges they face.

When Ollie was born doctors said he would not live any longer than two hours because his brain had been starved of oxygen during birth.

Trauma during his delivery meant Ollie was left with severe brain damage, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. He is also registered blind.

Parents Neil Lewis, aged 30, and Charmaine Malcolm, aged 25, took on a legal battle to get St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol to admit liability for the errors caused by midwives during labour.

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The trust has since admitted fault and apologised for the errors which caused Ollie’s brain damage.

He surpassed initial expectations but still needs 24-hour care as he barely sleeps and requires pump feeding for 20 hours a day.

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Neil had to give up his job as a recruitment consultant and Charmaine lost her business as a hairdresser so they could care for their son.

The trust has paid damages to fund his vital care and rehabilitation.

Since the ruling, Charmaine and Neil have decided to help others and campaign to raise awareness of the challenges of raising a child with cerebral palsy.

Charmaine said: “There are a number of challenges you face as a parent of a disabled child and it can be extremely hard to cope with these issues.

“Ollie is a remarkable little boy and we are incredibly proud of him. We hope that by supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day we can raise awareness of the condition and the situations we, and others in similar circumstances, deal with on a daily basis.”

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