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Parents win battle for help with disabled baby

Published: 28 Jul 2012 11:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jul 2012 11:17 GMT+02:00

Albin and his twin Malte were born early, week 24, to parents Hanna and Markus Ekstrand Engdahl in Nyköping, in eastern Sweden. They spent their first months of life living in hospitals - four months at Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala, and another six at Mälarsjukhuset in Eskilstuna.

The premature birth caused Albin to suffer a cerebral haemmorhage, and today he breathes through a needle, which needs to be changed and cleaned regularly, through a hole in his throat, meaning he needs constant care.

Despite this, Nyköping municipality declined the parents’ initial request for a personal care assistant, reported local newspaper Södermanlands Nyheter.

Nyköping’s explanation for rejecting the application was that no babies are capable of everyday routines, such as going to the bathroom, washing, dressing themselves or eating. Therefore these problems were not specific for Albin.

However, Albin’s needs differ greatly from an average fifteen month-old. He can’t swallow, needs to be fed through a probe, and requires training with a physiotherapist to learn to lift his head and sit up.

Parents Hanna and Markus Ekstrand Engdahl appealed to Linköping’s administrative court, and overturning Nyköping's decision, the court has now granted the family a personal care assistant.

“We’re going to celebrate with a grill party,” said Hanna Ekstrand Engdahl to Södermanlands Nyheter.

“All of our friends and family who’ve helped us so incredibly much are invited.”

TT/Clara Guibourg (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:00 July 28, 2012 by libertarianism
Good to hear...
13:01 July 28, 2012 by StockholmSam
erm...not sure what to make of this...is it good news or is it bad news? Hell, is it even newsworthy at all?
22:55 July 28, 2012 by libertarianism
Re 2, For the family and their friends/loved ones, I suspect it is a great relief that they will finally, after struggling and rejection, have the help they need.

As far as newsworthiness, perhaps this case helps set legal precedence that will help other struggling families gain support.

And this case may further illustrate that many people are forced to hire lawyers and/or endure (years of) stressful battling with the state before they are granted the services that Sweden's outrageous taxes is supposed to provide.
09:27 July 29, 2012 by lilacdragon
My Husband was refused any help with home adaptions, no home help at all, had to pay for his own wheelchair for the first 6 months, was left without any money at all (sick pay) for 8 months and we had to rely on family to eat and not loose our home. So yes StockholmSam this is newsworthy, there are thousands of us out there in sweden, litterally left to starve or struggle with impossible odds against us, who are ignored by the so called best health care in europe.We cant afford lawyers when we have no money. He did not ask to become disabled and was proud to pay his taxes and of sweden till this, now he feels let down, ignored and horrified at how his country has treated him.

So congratulations to the parents who won this victory for thier child
11:42 July 29, 2012 by StockholmSam
@Libertarianism (#3)

I am a bit surprised, given your nickname, that you feel the state should provide these services. Shouldn't a good libertarian decry state intervention and instead encourage these poor parents to take care of their handicapped kid themselves...or pay for private help with the money they earned and saved from fairly paid, low-taxed cubicle careers?
15:48 July 29, 2012 by libertarianism
Sam, there are many flavors of libertarianism. To my understanding, however, at the heart of libertarianism lies the belief in the rights and sanctity of the individual. I have neither the strength nor the history, economics, legal, sociology, etc. background to eloquently argue for my beliefs regarding this concept, but if you're interested in learning more, there are probably near inexhaustible resources to that end. That said, it seems to me that libertarianism is not so much an "end" but an open starting place from which to rise, to create positive change and evolving, adapting solutions.

Regarding the article, I feel that we the tax payers have a contract with the State for services. Right now, the State is not fulfilling the healthcare contract, with disastrous, heartbreaking results. So, the State needs to take responsibility. Or taxes should be cut (the State should be fired, trimmed back), so families can invest/pool their resources somewhere more safely.

There is a growing awareness of the healthcare problem, but the public has yet to embrace this issue. Until that happens, people will continue to suffer and to rightfully feel duped, marginalized, and lied to by a State which is budgeting away our very lives. Recognition of such does not belong to any group but is something each of us should feel in our hearts, and ideally, to the best of our abilities and means, actively do something to correct.
04:49 July 30, 2012 by Da Goat
Great that they won the battle ....I am worried about the war though!
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