Elan riding a house

What happened?

Elan’s mother had a normal pregnancy but problems developed in labour. There was a failure by the medical staff looking after Elan’s mother to monitor her or respond to a very abnormal CTG trace which was caused by a cord prolapse. They also failed to take the right steps to protect the cord from pressure until Elan could be delivered by caesarean section.

Elan’s injury

Elan was very unwell at birth with low Apgar scores and blood gas acidosis and developed hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE). Elan was in neonatal intensive care and discharged home at 3 weeks of age. Elan’s parents were concerned about her development and when she was 7 months old she had an MRI scan. This showed that Elan had brain damage that had been caused by acute oxygen starvation at the time of her birth and until she was properly resuscitated.

Elan has developed spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, gross and fine motor development delay, positional kyphosis and scoliosis of the spine.

How did we help

When Elan’s mum got in touch, she wanted answers and to find out what had happened.

We investigated a clinical negligence claim on Elan’s behalf and obtained supportive expert evidence. Despite initial denials of liability we continued and succeeded in her claim.

Elan needs a lot of support and specialist equipment and we quickly got an interim payment from the Defendant and we are helping Elan with purchasing a new house which can be specifically adapted to cater for her needs, including building a hydrotherapy pool and with space for her to have therapy and support.

Elan’s mum has said “making a claim for your child isn’t easy, its sad, and difficult when you get the answers that prove that it shouldn’t have happened. Helen and the team understood this and have always been there to answer my questions and give support. Their relationship with Elan is brilliant and because of the work they’ve done we can now look forward to Elan’s future making sure she has support to achieve her dreams”.


Elan is no ordinary little girl and is a real inspiration to everyone she meets. She embraces the difficulties that she has and tries to find ways to overcome these. Elan is determined to live life to the full, but she also understands that her condition limits what she can do and that she needs help. Elan has even written a short leaflet about her condition so that people are aware of her cerebral palsy, what it is and how it affects her.

Elan loves participating in triathlons, particularly the Superhero triathlon, and last year she got to meet Claire Balding and was very excited when she was asked to be interviewed for the television.

Elan’s great passion is horse riding and she wants to be a Dressage Paralympian when she is older. Elan is already putting in the hard work and attends riding lessons each week and participates in the Riding for the Disabled (RDA) National Championships with her loan pony, Trinny. Elan has had a number of successes at the championships and last year came first in the vaulting competition for her age group. Elan hopes to be able to use some of her compensation to purchase specially adapted vehicles, saddles and paid assistance to help her achieve her dream.

Elan also wanted to add:

“If you are disabled or not, keep trying, be a happy person and don’t give up”.

Frequently asked questions
How will I fund my claim?

There may be several options open to you to include legal aid, No Win No Fee and legal expense insurance. We can advise you on the correct funding method for you. We have designed a No Win No Fee package to protect you from paying any costs should your claim not be successful.


Do you offer Legal Aid?

Yes we do offer Legal Aid when this is available for clients. Legal Aid is restricted to claims relating to neurological injuries sustained in pregnancy, birth or the early neonatal period. Although we can pursue a claim for you using a Legal Aid certificate, there may be better funding options open to you to ensure your claim is dealt with swiftly and with the best experts. We can discuss this in more detail with you to advise you on the best way forward.

Will I have to pay for any investigation if my claim is unsuccessful?

We know how important it is to be reassured that you will not be financially liable for any unsuccessful investigation. We have set up a funding package that ensures you will not have to pay any fees should your claim for damages fail.

Related Specialism

Brain Injury

Related Specialism

Cerebral palsy

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