Every October the Erb's Palsy Group raises awareness about Erb's Palsy through an awareness week. Through social media, events and fundraising they aim to increase peoples knowledge of Erb's Palsy, and provide information and support to those affected.
This year we look into some powerful case studies of those affected by Erb’s Palsy, how it has impacted both their own life as well as their families, and how their stories can help inform and support others.
Could you tell us about Erb’s Palsy and how it has impacted on your life?
Erb’s Palsy is a condition caused mainly due to birth trauma. It can affect one, or all five, of the primary nerves which can deprive movement and feeling to the arm. My son has Erb’s Palsy due to a birth injury and he has restricted movement to his arm and hand. He deals with this on a daily basis, and he’s also had two operations to try and help gain more movement. Erb’s Palsy affects my son on a daily basis and struggles with daily living tasks. Erb’s Palsy has affected the whole family, as I've had to give my son more attention, going to appointments and travelling to Leeds to see Professor Kay and the team. It has also affected me as I blame myself for what happened, but I know that there was nothing I did, it was down to the mismanagement of my son's birth which resulted in his Erb’s Palsy.
Is there anything you have learnt about yourself through your journey?
What I have learned about my son through this journey is how stubborn he is and how brave he is, enduring with Erb’s Palsy on a daily basis.
What does life look like now, and any future ambitions?
My son is now studying Information and Creative Technology level 2 and is hoping to go on to do Level 3 next year. He isn’t sure quite yet what he wants to do in the future.
What has helped you through your journey?
There are lots of people who have helped my child through his Erb’s Palsy journey. We as family, his physios, the amazing Professor Kay and the whole team in Leeds, and of course the Erb’s Palsy Group, and probably my nagging as well.
Is there any advice you would give to the families of those with Erb’s palsy?
The advice I would give to other families is to give yourself a break, you're doing a fantastic job and your child will surprise you.
Are there any common misconceptions about Erb’s Palsy and the people affected by it?
One misconception that we have encountered is that people assume Erb’s Palsy can be fixed and the that their arms will get better. People couldn’t understand that this is not the case and that it is a lifelong disability.
What do you wish the general public knew about Erb’s palsy and those affected by it?
I wish the public would understand that Erb’s Palsy is a lifelong disability, and it affects the child and adult on a daily basis, and that it can also can affect their mental health as well.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about bringing a claim?
My advice to anyone thinking about making claim is that it is a long and tough process, but it's so worth it to secure the future for your child and let you know they will have not to worry about how they are going to pay for anything they will need. For example, adaptions to help them with daily living tasks, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and anything else they might need.
How has the Erb’s Palsy community helped you?
The Erb’s Palsy community has helped me immensely. I can't thank them enough. The trustees are fantastic, Karen from the Erb’s Palsy Group helped me to get the knowledge to understand my son's needs. All the trustees of the group do a fantastic Job. They are like a family to me. I will be eternally grateful for all the help over the years.
To raise awareness of this condition and to support the Erb’s Palsy Group we are running a series of articles and videos sharing the stories of some of those impacted by Erb' Palsy, to raise awareness of this condition. To see all these case studies please visit our Erb's Palsy Awareness Week page.
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.