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Case Study: Spinal Injury Failures Cause Permanent Disability
Compensation: £1.7 million
A man who has has been left permanently paralysed has been awarded £1.7 million compensation following negligent spinal care by medical professionals.
Gary was left wheelchair dependant after NHS spinal injury failures rendered him permanently disabled. Gary now suffers weakness in his lower legs, poor co-ordination, loss of feeling and bladder and bowel dysfunction.
After Gary’s claim was taken on by Eddie Jones, a specialist solicitor at JMW, he was awarded £1.7 million in compensation to help him to cope.
Start of ordeal
Gary’s ordeal began when he developed severe back pain one day. He attended an NHS walk-in centre at his local hospital and was seen by a nurse. Gary described his symptoms as severe shooting pain in his back which felt as though a knife had been stuck in it and was being twisted. Gary said the pain was coming and going and was also radiating through his chest and down his left arm and he also had pins and needles in his left hand and fingers.
The nurse told Gary to go straight to accident and emergency at the hospital. Gary went to A&E as instructed and was seen almost immediately. His heart rate was monitored with an ECG and when a doctor examined him Gary explained the pain was getting worse and that he was hot, feverish and been sweating abnormally the previous night.
It was suspected that Gary might have a problem with his heart but a chest X-Ray and blood tests all came back normal. Doctors decided that there was nothing wrong with Gary so sent home and with instructions to take paracetamol for the pain and return in a week if it had not subsided.
When Gary woke up the next day the pain was worse and he called his GP surgery for an appointment. Gary was told by the doctor that he probably had a viral infection and was prescribed a stronger painkiller. Gary’s wife drove him home and he took the medication, had a hot bath and went back to bed, still in severe pain.
When Gary woke up the next morning he found that he had very little feeling in both legs and feet, which spread all the way up to his belly button. Gary also had a pins and needles sensation, was unsteady on his feet and was stumbling like he was drunk. Gary and his wife went back to the GP surgery and the doctor told them to go straight to hospital.
After an hour-and-a-half wait Gary was given a bed and throughout the evening he was seen by a number of doctors who were all baffled by his illness. Gary had not passed urine for some time and later that night a doctor said she would arrange for an MRI scan late the following morning.
The MRI scan showed that Gary had a tumour on his spinal cord and he would be transferred to a specialist hospital for emergency spinal surgery. However by now permanent damage to the nerves in Gary’s spine had been caused due to pressure from the tumour and he was left permanently disabled.
Gary felt that his tragic situation could have been avoided and contacted the specialist solicitors at JMW for help. His case was taken on by Eddie Jones, who found several unacceptable failures on the part of the hospital. These included failing to heed the significance of Gary’s symptoms, failing to undertake adequate tests and investigations and failing to discuss his condition with a specialist spinal centre and arrange his transfer there in good time.
After JMW’s intervention Gary was awarded £1.7 million in compensation to help him to cope with the devastating impact of the errors.
Have you or a loved one suffered in a similar way to Gary?
If you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the topics discussed above, and require advice and guidance on your particular situation, simply get in touch with our expert and friendly team.
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Sam lost her business and marriage after appalling errors allowed her red flag signs of cauda equina syndrome to go untreated. Sam was left permanently disabled but Eddie Jones as JMW obtained her £925,000 in compensation to help her to cope.
Jim had an attack of sciatica at work, it didn't get better with rest and his GP suspected cauda equina syndrome and sent him to a hospital for investigation. His condition wasn't initially properly diagnosed and got worse and has led to long term suffering.
Peter was left with permanent bowel, bladder and sexual dysfunction, as well as disability and constant pain after delayed treatment of his cauda equina syndrome. As a result he lost his job and struggles with day-to-day tasks such as caring for his children.
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Donna attended her GP with lower back pain and sciatica in her left leg worsening over the previous 2 weeks. She was referred to an orthopaedic consultant at her local hospital.
Paul had a long history of lower back pain and when he was 35 years old, he underwent a laminectomy for removal of a prolapsed intervertebral disc. This was only partially successful and he continued to suffer episodic lower back pain.
'John' now relies on a wheelchair for getting about outdoors after appalling delays to surgery he needed urgently to treat cauda equina syndrome. Steven Brown, a senior associate in JMW's specialist medical negligence team secured John £280,000 in compensation to help him cope with his permanent disabilities.
Joanne was left with permanent bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction after delays in recognising her cauda equina syndrome. Her case was taken on by JMW Solicitors and she was awarded £250,000 in compensation.
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Tony had a long history of lower back pain and sciatica.However, when he was 48 years old he suffered a recurrence of his symptoms. After a month his condition became much more severe and so visited his GP, who prescribed pain relief. JMW claimed £150,000 for the claimant due to clinical negligence.
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