The Paralympics legacy: why disability from Cerebral Palsy or Erbs Palsy should not be an obstacle to achieving goals.
The Paralympics where a monumental success, surprising everyone with sold out stadiums and wave of public enthusiasm not previously seen. At the recent BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards the key message from all the athletes was to build upon the legacy of the 2012 games and change public perception of disability and ensure support for our future paralympians.
Our firm was very proud to sponsor Katrina Hart, British Paralympic athlete, who competed in the 100m final and also won bronze in the 4x100m relay. Katrina has cerebral palsy, but was inspired to pursue a career in athletics by her PE teacher when she was 14 years old and she went on to compete in the last 2 Olympic games and achieve a degree from the University of Bath in sports performance.
In the spirit of the games we also attend the Paralympics with Trustees from the charity Cerebral Palsy Plus in Bristol and donated tickets to a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy, who attended the games with her father. Unfortunately we missed out on tickets to see Louise Watkin, who has Erb’s Palsy affecting her left arm, compete in the pool arena. Louise had a fantastic result, winning 2 silver and 1 bronze medal. Louise told Sportsmail: “In the past 4 years, the Paralympics have moved on so much. People are still talking about it now. It’s nice so many people have got the Paralympics bug. I hope there will be more integration in the future.’
As medical negligence lawyers a lot of our clients seek an active and fulfilling lifestyle, in spite of their own disabilities, and have also been inspired to get active and participate in sports and with their local communities.
Jacob Dewis suffered hospital negligence giving rise to a birth injury claim, as he had developed cerebral palsy. He has been facilitated through his compensation after suing the NHS to live his life to the full. Jacob has lost his ability to walk independently in his teens but continues to go swimming 2-3 times every week at least. His Mum says: “Jake loves the freedom and ease of movement the water allows him and a physical workout as he is encouraged to swim some lengths as well as have a splash around.”
Jacob also loves music and now has the freedom to attend music festivals with his carers, having the use of a specialist outdoor terrain wheelchair and adapted vehicle. Jacob also loves to travel and it’s hoped that he will be able to travel to the USA and Asia in the future.
It is hoped that we can continue to support our Paralympic athletes at the next 2016 games in Rio and that there truly will be a shift in the views and abilities of those with disabilities, so that their achievements, even small ones, are properly recognised.