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Against a background of a dilapidated trailer park, outdoor toilets, unkempt weeds and makeshift shacks, a young woman watches her toddlers play on their tricycles. One of them is subject to fits of anger and frustration. which he takes out on his brother and his young mother. He flails out at them with tiny, weak hands rolled into fists of rage. He has been developmentally delayed by Erbs Palsy, a neurological disorder, often starting at birth. The disease is a mechanical trauma and results in injuries affecting the nerves controlling the arms and hands caused by force on the infant’s body. It could be caused by medical error. In this child, he is unable to talk or use his hands well.

The young mother tearfully states that she does not know if her baby will ever learn to speak, and while she had worked previously in health care, she now has to stay home and provide full-time care for her child. She is afraid to leave him with others, fearful of what might happen due to his birth defect.

Although the woman and her husband will try to fix the problem with surgery, they do not have the resources to travel to Houston for the procedure. She is not able to work due to her son’s disability and is on government assistance. Her husband does odd jobs, and they pray for a way to pay their way to the operation. They do not have a car, so it is challenging to get to town to buy her son’s medicine. Relatives help with rent and bills. The house and appliances are in disrepair, and the family is facing a bleak Christmas. She would like to get her sons a basketball and toys, but the first priority is winter clothing.

The family will face some holiday respite, thanks to charitable institutions, food drives and the United Way. Erbs palsy is frequently caused by medical negligence, missed diagnosis or an incorrect use of forceps when pulling on an infant’s limb during birth. While babies are a happy and joyous event, a child destined to a short life of pain and suffering can be often prevented, or the family may be be entitled to compensation under the law.

Source: caller.com, “Local boy, 4, needs good health while parents need hope this Christmas” Mary Lee Grant, Dec. 20, 2013