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Harrogate parents support world Cerebral Palsy Day

The parents of a boy from Harrogate who developed cerebral palsy following complications during his birth are supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day, which takes place this year on 7 October 2015, to raise awareness of the condition.

Kit van Berckel was born on 31 May 2008 after his mother was admitted to Harrogate District Hospital, 10 days over her due date. However during the birth, medical staff failed to recognise that Kit was suffering distress for a prolonged period of time. Staff continually failed to correctly interpret and act upon pathological CTG (Cardiotocography) and as a result, Kit was born with no heartbeat and needed resuscitating.

Kit suffered a significant brain injury and soon after his birth, he was diagnosed with dyskinetic cerebral palsy, which affects him physically causing involuntary movements. Kit is unable to sit without aid, has no independent mobility and cannot feed himself. Kit is also unable to speak.

His parents, Joanna and Charles, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the care given to both Joanna and Kit during his delivery.  The law firm secured a full admission of liability from Harrogate Hospital NHS Foundation Trust that the delay in Kit’s delivery, caused Kit’s neurological injuries.


Rachelle Mahapatra, a specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said:

Kit was gravely ill at birth after the traumatic delivery and shortly after, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Over the past few years, Kit has managed his condition extremely well and is able to walk with the support of a walker. His parents have tirelessly devoted their time to ensure his every need is met, that he is well educated and receives the same education any other child his age should.

The awareness of the impact of cerebral palsy remains very low so we are supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day in an attempt to correct this. We have also created a portal online for people to see the real life stories behind the condition so they can find out more about it.


Kit Van-Berckel Harrogate
Kit van Berckel


Kit’s mum, Joanna said:

Kit is a wonderful, bright, cheerful and lively boy who continues to amaze us with his energy, positive attitude and determination.

There are a number of challenges you face as a parent of a disabled child and it can be extremely hard to cope with these issues. It is fantastic to see Kit enjoying school and we try to make life as normal as possible for him.

We hope that by supporting World Cerebral Palsy Day we can raise awareness of the condition and the situations we, and others in similar circumstances, deal with on a daily basis.


Cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood and is also one of the least understood.


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