What is Erb's Palsy as Love Islander becomes first ever contestant to have condition

Patsy Love Island promo picture
-Credit: (Image: ITV)


Love Island 2024 has started, with a brand new batch of singletons looking for love taking part in the 11th series. One of the ITV show's hopefuls includes Patsy Field, who has opened up about her disability.

During last night's (June 3) first episode, the office worker and social media influencer told viewers: "I do have a condition. I have a disability on my right arm. It's called Erb's Palsy."

The 29-year-old added: "It doesn't affect me that much in day-to-day life. It's a little bit smaller than my left one. It just moves slightly differently. But, other than that it's just another wonderful, interesting, quirky thing about me."

Ahead of the dating show's launch, Patsy spoke about how the Love Island villa was adapted for her disability. She has praised producers for doing everything they can to make the villa accessible for her needs.

She said: "I’ve had loads of conversations with producers. I’m definitely being well looked after." Patsy is the first contestant ever to have Erb's Palsy.

She developed Erb’s Palsy due to complications when she was born. The condition means one of her arms is weaker and shorter than the other, which was caused when there were complications during labour.

What is Erb's Palsy?

According to the NHS, Erb’s Palsy is a problem that causes your baby to have difficulty moving their arm. This is because of an injury to the nerve supply along their arm.

Erb’s Palsy can also be known as Shoulder Dystocia, or Obstetric Brachial Plexus Injury. The injury happens during birth, as your baby journeys through the birth canal. The nerve along their arm becomes stretched.

Approximately 85 out of every 100 babies (85%) have a full recovery. Mild cases recover within one to eight weeks.

How can Erb’s Palsy be treated?

Erb’s Palsy is an injury, so to begin with, it needs rest to recover rather than treatment. This means keeping your baby’s arm supported and moving their shoulder as little as possible.

After five days, the nerve usually has been rested enough to allow very gentle exercises to begin. Parents with a child with Erb's Palsy should be referred to the physiotherapist by a paediatrician.

The aims of these exercises will be:

  • To prevent your baby’s muscles from becoming short.

  • To prevent your baby’s joints from becoming stiff.

  • To give your baby the feeling of normal movement, so that when their recovery begins they will not have forgotten how to use their arm (remember those kicks and punches in the womb).

  • To continue to stimulate the feeling in your baby’s arm.