�6.5m payout after Romford boy left brain damaged at birth

�A Romford boy who suffered brain damage when midwives failed to act on his dangerously low blood sugar levels at birth has won a �6.5million compensation payout.

Ewan Waker, now 15, was born at Harold Wood Hospital in April 1996 following a normal pregnancy but, concerned about his small size and how much he was feeding, his mum Cecilia, now 48, asked the midwives for help and guidance.

Blood tests quickly revealed that he was suffering from neonatal hypoglycaemia – low blood sugar levels – but despite the diagnosis the test results were not acted upon and the newborn was sent home where his condition deteriorated.


It wasn’t until a community midwife visited them at home that the extent of his illness was spotted and he was rushed to a Special Care Baby Unit.

The delay left Ewan with irreversible brain damage, severe visual impairment and learning difficulties; a combination which has left him struggling with basic day-to-day tasks and in need of specialist care for the rest of his life.

The family’s lawyer, Anita Jewitt, from firm Irwin Mitchell, welcomed Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust’s early admission of fault. She said: “Ewan is a very caring boy who, with a great deal of assistance from his family, strives to fulfil his potential to achieve the very best from life.”

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The settlement means Ewan has enough money to ensure he has access to the best, specialist, 24-hour care and support he will now need for the rest of his life.

Cecilia said: “It was clear to me after Ewan was born that something wasn’t quite right. He was feeding all of the time.

“I used to be a nurse and I remember smelling acetone on Ewan’s breath. It can smell a bit like pear drops and I knew from my experience of caring for the elderly that this can be a sign of low blood sugar levels or dehydration. I raised these concerns with the midwives but Ewan was still discharged.

“I am pleased that the hospital accepted responsibility and I hope that lessons can be learnt to prevent the same thing from happening again.

“Ewan is a very loving and caring boy but things are difficult for him. To think that it could all have been avoided is hard to accept.

“The compensation awarded to Ewan has come as a huge relief to us all and will ensure he has access to the very best care and can live as independently as possible with his injuries.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The trust is very pleased the claim has been resolved and offers Ewan and his family its very best wishes for the future.

Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust works hard to ensure that the quality of its healthcare services continues to improve and lessons are learnt following untoward incidents.