Compensation Awarded to Artist Following Negligent Surgery

A five figure compensation sum has been secured for an artist and illustrator whose arm was damaged through negligent surgery.

Margaret Gold, a professional illustrator has been left devastated after vital nerves in her armpit were severed during routine surgery to test for breast cancer at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

In March 2009, Margaret noticed a lump in the centre of her armpit and was referred to Glenfield Hospital for further tests. The tests however were not clear enough for doctors to make a diagnosis so as such underwent investigative surgery, where the lump would either be completely removed or a sample taken to allow for further tests to be carried out.

The operation took place in April 2009 and she was warned she may not be able to move her arm properly for a few days afterwards. When the movement in Margaret's limp arm didn't improve, the surgeon admitted at a follow-up appointment that she had cut nerves in Margaret's armpit and that she may never regain the movement in her arm and hand again.

Following these findings, further tests and examinations at the Spire Leicester Hospital confirmed she had serious nerve damage and in September she underwent another operation at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore to help repair the damage.

Through the hard work of Anna Manning, specialist solicitor from Irwin Mitchell, a settlement of £37,000 from The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has been secured for Margaret after they admitted liability. The settlement will be partly used to allow Margaret to get access to vital physiotherapy to help improve function in the arm.

Commenting on the case, solicitor Anna Manning stated: "This has been a difficult time for Margaret. She put her trust in doctors at Glenfield Hospital and sadly, the surgery and aftercare she received was below standard. Since the surgery she has not been able to use her left hand in the same way as before, and she has struggled to carry on looking after herself and her home as she used to."

"The operation was meant to be a routine procedure but mistakes during surgery has had a major impact on Margaret's life. It also took the hospital so long to refer Margaret for essential follow-up treatment that it was impossible to repair the damage."

"Now that they have admitted responsibility for her injury Margaret can continue to access the rehabilitation she needs. I am pleased for Margaret that the Trust has acknowledged their mistakes, and hope they will take steps to prevent mistakes like this happening again in the future."

Margaret says: "I've had lots of physiotherapy and occupational therapy which helped me regain some movement in my arm but I still have to wear splints to support my wrist."

"Since the operation I've not been able to carry on with my artwork, which has been heartbreaking for me because it is my passion."

"I also loved being out in my garden but I'm not strong enough anymore. It is difficult to imagine how many day to day tasks are extremely difficult when you only have one good hand."

"To think this all could have been prevented is really upsetting but I'm relieved the Trust has admitted they are at fault and have taken my case seriously so procedures can be put in place so that others don't have to suffer as I have."