March 7, 2024

Elijah’s story

RWK Goodman’s trust corporation, Withy King Trustees Limited, is privileged to act as the financial Deputy for Elijah, a young man based in Clevedon, Bristol.

Elijah was born with Apert syndrome, which is a rare genetic disorder affecting the bones in the skull, hands and feet. His mother, Kaddy Thomas, also has this disorder and has never let it hold her back, and such, she was not fazed by Elijah’s diagnosis when he was born.

Unfortunately, 18 months after Elijah was born, he developed a post-surgical infection which resulted in Cerebritis and severe, extensive brain damage. Elijah is visually impaired and has hearing loss, his movement is severely restricted and he is completely dependent on his care team for most aspects of his life.

Elijah suffers regularly with seizures and has been in and out of hospital for many years both in Bristol and across the country. Kaddy brought a successful clinical negligence claim on behalf of Elijah in respect of the post-surgical infection he obtained, and an application was made to the Court of Protection to appoint Withy King Trustees Limited as Elijah’s Property & Financial Affairs Deputy, to support Kaddy and the external litigation team during the claim.

Withy King Trustees Limited are a trust corporation, and act as a professional financial Deputy for a number of clients across England & Wales. A financial Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection for people who lack the mental capacity to manage their own financial affairs.

The role of a Deputy is to make necessary financial decisions in the best interests of that individual, while still ensuring they have as much autonomy as possible. Whilst Elijah and Kaddy have personal relationships with specific people at RWK Goodman, the trust corporation structure of Withy King Trustees Limited means that someone is always available to support the family in making financial decisions. This continuity of service is one of the key aspects of our role, and we are proud to have acted as Elijah’s Deputy for almost nine years.

From 2011 to 2015, and with support from our team, Kaddy fought extremely hard for Elijah to have an Integrated Personal Health Budget (PHB) which was eventually signed off by the Clinical Commissioning Group (now the Bristol, North Somerset & Gloucestershire ICB).

Managing care funded through a combination of private funds and a PHB is complex, and the PHB allowed Elijah to access a very high degree of care and nursing. PHBs are an award provided by the NHS to support you with your health and wellbeing needs and allow you to manage your healthcare needs in a way that suits you.

People who are eligible for PHB are adults and children who are receiving NHS continuing healthcare, people who are registered wheelchair users and people with mental health conditions who are eligible for section 117 after care following a Mental Health Act detention, and the amount a person can receive in PHB is based on a detailed assessment of their health and the costs of your needs. Whilst the PHB Elijah received was substantial, Kaddy’s sheer determination is the reason why she was able to achieve such a brilliant financial outcome for her son.

The Compensation Protection Team supporting Elijah’s finances in the background, means Kaddy can focus on being a truly fantastic mum to Elijah, including her role managing his 24-hour care team. Kaddy oversees and attends all of Elijah’s appointments and therapies, and she continues to advocate for Elijah to ensure he is receiving all the help and assistance he is entitled to. We are also pleased to have supported Kaddy organising holidays for Elijah, most recently to Cornwall, and with a trip to Disneyland Paris planned for the near future.

Alongside devoting the last 18 years of her life to Elijah and his needs, by using her own experiences, Kaddy has had some enormous successes in her personal life. One of these successes was founding The Carers Collective in Bristol. This is a platform that offers other carers the opportunity to access a six-week program learning about skills which are used for management, burn out and the challenges of being a carer.

Kaddy accepted an award in The Women Achieving Greatness in Social Care awards (WAGS) for the Social Care Change Agent Award. WAGS described Kaddy as ‘a true inspiration, driven by personal challenges to improve the well-being of unpaid carers’ and commented that ‘despite managing her health and medical condition while caring for her son and overseeing his caregiving team, she remains a resilient fighter and survivor. Personally funding Carers Collective, Kaddy is committed to its success, striving to support as many carers as possible’.

In 2014, during Elijah’s claim for damages, he was given a life expectancy of five years. Elijah is however set to turn 18 in March 2024. Whilst the Compensation Protection Team support Elijah with his finances, we are also delighted to have had the opportunity to witness Elijah grow into a funny, charming young man, and to experience first-hand how much of a devoted and caring mother Kaddy is.

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