Pain of 'toxic soup' case boy

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The Independent Online

Teenager Dylan South endured medical treatment every day for the first five years of his life.

The 13-year-old was born with a deformed right foot and still suffers severe pain when he goes through growth spurts.

He cannot run for long distances and sometimes struggles to walk.

Dylan is one of 18 young people who blame their disabilities on their mothers' exposure to toxic materials.

Corby Borough Council was found liable at the High Court in 16 of the cases for releasing the waste into the air while reclaiming a steel plant between 1985 and 1999.

Dylan, a pupil at Uppingham Community College, said: "I can't do some things that other kids are doing, I can't run."

His mother, Audrey Barfield, 34, discovered her son had a deformity when she had her 18-week scan while pregnant.

She said: "I found out that his foot was all bent over. He had two operations, and it wasn't until he was older that we realised that his leg was already a lot shorter, but we didn't realise the affect it was going to have on his whole leg."

Until the age of five, Dylan had to undergo daily physiotherapy and wear special shoes.

The family still do not know how the disability will affect him in later life.

His mother said: "When he goes through his growth spurts he's getting a lot of pain. It's just wait and see, we still don't know how it's going to affect him as an adult."

She first became aware of the claims against Corby Council when Dylan was three years old.

Ms Barfield said: "I took him to the park and my friend came up to me and said 'Have you read the report in the newspaper that a lot of kids have been born with deformities in this area because of the clean-up of waste products?"'

She approached a local newspaper, the Evening Telegraph, which put her in touch with Collins Solicitors.

The mother-of-two said she does not know how she has kept going during the last 10 years.

She said: "You don't know the whole technicality of it, there are scientific reports and you don't really understand it so it's just what you can pick up. It's just been a waiting game."