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Posted 24 October 2019
by Endurance Arthur

Erb’s Palsy Awareness Week 2019 ‘Then and Now’ – Chris’ Story

Erb's Palsy Awareness Week - Chris

Hello everyone,

My name is Chris, I’m 19 years old. When I was being born my left shoulder became stuck.  The process of trying to overcome this left me with a severe group 4 brachial plexus injury.  According to my records, the nerve roots in my entire brachial plexus were ruptured or avulsed. Essentially my left arm was paralysed, and I was considered one armed.  My left arm is also a lot shorter than the right one.

I had 4 operations to try to improve my function.  The last procedure was 12 years ago.  I have been left with many scars and not much range of movement. I also got a lot of bruises from lots of falls when trying out all sorts of activities like cycling, laser tag, climbing in the playground and even wall climbing.

My mum has been absolutely superb. My mum taught me to have a go at everything. Until I was about 15, she took me to every Erb’s Palsy family fun day so I could meet lots of other children with Erb’s.  The events were all around the country, so I got to see different places and to meet new people.  I also met some people every year and got quite friendly with them.

When my case finished, I was 13 years old.  My mum used some of the money to pay for private tuition for my GCSEs, this really helped. We bought equipment to help me with everyday tasks at home and I was also able to tailor my clothes, so my shirts and jumpers are better fitted to my body. This helps me to feel more comfortable and confident. Through the additional funds I have after my case, I was able to get a personalised road bike which is complementary to my needs. I’m always able to keep up with the other cyclists where I live and have fun.

Living with Erb’s palsy has taught me how to adapt and think on my feet. From simple tasks like doing my shoe laces to cycling.

Even though the road has been difficult, I believe Erb’s palsy has made me a stronger and wiser individual.

In this current moment of time I’m studying for a degree in biochemistry at the University of Essex. My goal is to continue in higher education and get a PHD in my field and to further expand my knowledge and skills. I’ve always had a passion for science and understanding how things work.

In the laboratory I’m always able to ask for help when unable to hold or use a piece of equipment, because I always have a lab partner.

My disability has never inhibited my drive to succeed and make myself proud. I hope you can also succeed despite your disability.
Chris


To raise awareness of this condition and to support the Erb’s Palsy Group Tozers are running a series of articles this week written by young people who have Erb’s Palsy, entitled “Then and Now”. These inspirational stories are intended to celebrate the achievements of these individuals despite a difficult start in life, to offer hope and support to those new families with a baby or young child with the condition.

We have over 25 years’ experience in bringing clinical negligence claims for compensation on behalf of Claimant’s with Erb’s Palsy. We have developed a wealth of knowledge in relation to this condition.

For further advice please contact our specialists at Broadwalk House, Southernhay West, Exeter EX1 1UA. Call 01392 207020 or email enquiries@tozers.co.uk.

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About the author

Endurance Arthur

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor in the medical negligence department and a member of the Law Society's Clinical Negligence Panel