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New England teen with cerebral palsy may win wheelchair van

In the United States, close to four million babies are born each year. While most babies are born healthy, many are not so lucky. Some babies are born with birth defects, while others sustain an injury upon birth. While most doctors are especially careful when delivering babies, anytime a doctor makes an error, life-long injuries can result. Cerebral palsy is a common birth injury from an error during delivery. Each year many newborns are diagnosed with cerebral palsy and have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

For one New England teen, cerebral palsy has slowed him down since birth and makes it very difficult for him to get around, but after becoming a semifinalist in a contest, his mobility issues may be turned around. A 14-year-old boy may have his mobility concerns alleviated after being selected in the top five percent of more than 1,000 contestants to win a specialized wheelchair accessible van. The teen is currently unable to speak and cannot sit down or stand up alone. If he wins the contest by getting the most votes, his mother will no longer have to carry him in and out of their family car.

Like most cerebral palsy victims, mobility becomes a major issue. Depending on how severe the case is, some victims are completely dependent on others to walk.. In several cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a doctor's error when they deprive a baby of oxygen during labor and delivery. The shortage of oxygen to the brain can often cause detrimental results.

It is estimated that for every 1,000 babies born, five will suffer a birth injury. Many New England residents know the severity of such injuries. Whether its cerebral palsy or shoulder dystocia, birth injuries may come with life-long disability. Medical malpractice is often a cause for several birth injuries. Parents of victims may seek compensation for their child's birth injuries.

Source: The Salem News, "Salem teen makes semifinals in contest to win wheelchair van," Bethany Bray, May 20, 2013

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