Mum of teenager awarded £6m considers donation Queen Alexandra Hospital

Karen Harper with her son Nathan a few days after his birth
Karen Harper with her son Nathan a few days after his birth
Stuart Burnham with 12-year-old Andrew Impey and his mum, Kirstine Burnham   Picture: Habibur Rahman

Autistic Portsmouth lad lives the high life during VIP QA trip

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THE mum of a brain-damaged teenager awarded a payout of almost £6m could make a donation to the hospital unit that saved his life.

Nathan Harper suffered brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy, speech and learning difficulties after a delay in his delivery at St Mary’s Hospital, Milton, Portsmouth.

Nathan, 17, has now been awarded a payment of almost £6m at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

Mum Karen Harper, 49, of Portsmouth, is now considering making a donation to the intensive care unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

She said: ‘I’m going to go up to QA to the intensive care unit. I want to make sure if I do donate something, it goes to them.

‘They did an amazing job.

‘If it wasn’t for them Nathan wouldn’t be here. They basically saved his 
life.

‘No amount of money can truly compensate for the impact of Nathan’s injuries on his quality of life.

‘But this settlement will allow us to plan for the future with the confidence that he will always be given the care he needs.’

Nathan was resuscitated, suffered seizures and was put on a ventilator following his traumatic birth on July 8, 1997.

He had suffered a broken arm during delivery and Ms Harper had even arranged for him to be christened in hospital after being told he might not survive.

She kept a vigil at his bedside for five weeks before Nathan was discharged.

Two months later she was told her son had cerebral palsy.

BL Claims Solicitors, acting on behalf of Nathan through his mother Karen, brought the case against Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

The trust initially denied liability, but eventually conceded that there was a delay in delivering Nathan and that as a result of the delay, he suffered permanent brain damage.

Ms Harper added: ‘I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s been such a long haul – 17 years – it doesn’t bear thinking about.

‘It’s going to be amazing for Nathan, he’s going to have so many opportunities, he’s going to get everything he needs, and his care plan. He will be set for life.’

Nathan will receive an initial lump sum followed by annual payments to meet his care needs.

The award will be paid into the Court of Protection for Nathan’s benefit.

Sue Jarvis, who leads the cerebral palsy team at BL Claims Solicitors, said: ‘Nathan has received loving and dedicated care and support from his mother throughout his life and the award means that Nathan will be able to obtain a degree of independence whilst retaining the close relationship with her.’

A PHT spokesman said: ‘Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is pleased that a settlement has been approved for Nathan at today’s hearing and wishes him well for the future.’