A girl called Angel who can only communicate with her eyes and her smile is the subject of a very special New Year’s resolution from her mum.
After 11 years spent fighting for justice for her daughter, Kerry-Marie Brinklow is determined 2017 will be the year she gets a result.
She is convinced Milton Keynes hospital is to blame for the fact that Angel has quadriplegia and is unable to use any of her limbs.
“I was only 17 when I gave birth, but even then I realised there was a real danger when the baby’s heartbeat stopped when I was in the last stage of labour,” she said.
“But the staff at MK hospital didn’t listen to me. I was only a kid. They said it was because the heart monitor wasn’t working properly and left me in a room for half an hour.”
Little Angel was eventually delivered by emergency caesarian and was not breathing at first. After two weeks in special care, she was declared perfectly healthy – but Kerry-Marie knew something was seriously wrong.
“Her eyes were bright and burning with intelligence. but her arms and legs just didn’t work. Her brain had been damaged by the lack of oxygen during her birth.”
Since Angel’s diagnosis at nine months old, Kerrie-Marie has fought non-stop for compensation from the hospital .
“Lawyers promised me Angel would receive a settlement by the time she was 10 to help pay for all the specialist equipment and care she needs.
“But the compensation just didn’t happen. My legal aid stopped and the hospital made all sorts of excuses. Recently they said they can’t prove what happened because it was too long ago.”
Kerrie-Marie, a single mum who lives on Oldbrook, is determined not to quit.
Life is a daily battle of caring for her daughter, who rewards her with smiles, giggles and even songs.
“Angel goes to a special school in Aylesbury, which she loves. My mum is amazing and helps all she can. It’s hard, relentless work, day after day but Angel is worth every minute of it. She’s amazing.
“I’ve been dismissed so much because I was young and on my own. But I’m 30 now. I’ve studied for three years to be a qualified special needs teacher. I know what I have to do and I won’t be ignored.
“2017 will be the year that my Angel gets everything she deserves.”
MK hospital, through the Citizen has invited Kerrie-Marie to a meeting to discuss how she can her “pursue her concerns.”
They have also given her details of their complaints team for advice on her options about legal redress.
Kerrie-Marie was so determined to teach her daughter all she could that she went back to college and qualified as a special needs teacher.
“Milton Keynes College were incredible and they let me study at home, where Angel could be at my side,” she said.
“I completed a degree and my PGCE in three years instead of four.
“I wanted to do it so I could teach Angel everything properly and bring her on to her full potential.”
The determined mum has written a book based on her teen pregancy and battle to bring up her severely disabled daughter.
She wrote ‘The Wings of a Broken Angel’ and then formed her own company to publish it as an e book on Amazon.
“I’ve also written some novels that I’ve published through Amazon. My mum looks after Angel for a couple of hours at weekends and I set to and do my writing,” she said.
You can search for Kerrie-Marie’s books on Amazon under KM Brinklow.
Angel can say a few simple words and even follow a tune but her only real means of communicating is through her amazing eyes.
Kerrie-Marie fought for years to get specialised computer equipment that can be controlled by eye movements.
“Angel chooses which symbol on the screen to look at and the words come up on the computer.
It’s incredible. She was even able to write a script for her school Christmas play by choosing symbols.”
Yet specialists had previouslydiagnosed Angel as officially having “no understanding” and unable to communicate.
“I knew they were wrong. and now I’ve proved it,” said Kerrie-Marie.
She is urging other young parents of disabled children never to give up battling on their behalf.
“I feel I’ve been continually dismissed. It even took me two years to persuade the NHS to give me a wheelchair. You have to fight all the way – but it’s worth it,” she said.