Shine's Legal Service - Jack's Story

When Jack* was born with a dark spot at the base of his spine, doctors reassured his mum that it was a birthmark. However, when a health visitor came to see him a few days later, she was concerned that the texture of the mark had already changed.

He was referred to a paediatrician to have the mark investigated, who then referred him to a plastic surgeon who confirmed it was nothing to be concerned about. Unfortunately, none of the doctors considered that there might be an underlying cause.

Jack started to develop worrying symptoms - having problems learning to crawl and with his potty training. His mum took him to his GP regularly because she knew something was wrong, but even when she was finally given a referral to a specialist, they failed to take her concerns seriously and did not diagnose his condition, which was actually spina bifida and a tethered spinal cord.

After fighting for four years, Jack's mum finally got the referral which led to his diagnosis. Sadly, the tethered spinal cord had already caused permanent damage to his bladder, making him incontinent, and causing a deformity to his foot which made walking difficult. With these problems, he has understandably found school life difficult.

Through our investigations, Jack and his family now understand what caused his difficulties. It has been important for all of the family to know that they did everything they could and that it was worth fighting to find answers. Compensation will enable Jack to access the care and rehabilitation he needs. Our experts have helped Jack and his family know what to expect over his lifetime, and that he has the funds needed to safeguard his future.

*Name and images have been changed on the request of the individuals.


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