Written by Jeff Meyer on 28 Sep 2015
A recent art exhibit in Ipswich, Australia served as a shining example of triumph over adversity for those willing to focus on what they can do, as opposed to dwelling on the hurdles in their path. The local Cerebral Palsy League hosted its appropriately titled “Infinite PossAbilities” show on September 25-29, providing clients affected with the condition the opportunity to showcase their personal works of art.
A testimony to the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression for individuals with cerebral palsy, the exhibition featured works rendered in a wide range of media, including paint on canvas, ceramics, interactive installations, handmade jewelry, photography, video production and music. All of the artworks on display at the show were also available for purchase, with prices ranging from $30 to $300. The proceeds of the sales were to be directed back to the Cerebral Palsy League for the benefit of its programs and clients.
Cerebral Palsy Basics
Though the ability of these cerebral palsy patients to take pleasure and derive great pride from their works of art is certainly inspirational, the difficulties these individuals face on a daily basis must never be overlooked or minimized. For some, cerebral palsy manifests itself rather mildly, characterized by little more than a slight awkwardness in gait. However, for others, the condition is profoundly disabling, causing severe learning disabilities, seizures, tremors, visual and speech impairments, speech delays and cognitive concerns.
The degree of disability resulting from cerebral palsy goes a long way toward determining the level of assistance, ongoing care and intensive medical treatment a patient will require over the course of his or her life. For many, the financial burdens of this diagnosis are truly crippling, not to mention the physical and emotional damage caused. Making matters worse is the fact that in an alarming number of instances, preventable medical negligence is to blame for the ultimate emergence of the condition.
Labor and Delivery Negligence and Cerebral Palsy
Though it is true that some cases of cerebral palsy are the result of neonatal factors, fetal growth restriction or maternal infection, far too many diagnoses are the product of traumatic events during the labor and delivery process in which damage to the brain is sustained. Failure to timely order Caesarian delivery, improper use of forceps or vacuum tools during delivery, use of undue compression to facilitate birth and failure to address signs of fetal distress are all avoidable acts of negligence, which can lead to cerebral palsy in a child.
Because few things are more difficult than watching a young child struggle with the painful manifestations of cerebral palsy, it is important for parents and families to realize that they do have options for seeking legal recourse. Not only is a negligence lawsuit often the best opportunity to secure the financial resources necessary to help a child with cerebral palsy lead his or her most productive life, it can also facilitate justice by holding responsible actors accountable for harm done.