Settlement For Young Girl After Missed Opportunity To Treat Brain Tumour

Tumour Affecting Her Face and Sight Finally Found Three Years After Being Missed On MRI Scan At Portland Hospital

18.11.2014

The parents of a teenager unable to move her eye properly and suffering from a cosmetic deformity after a brain tumour was missed by a doctor analysing her scans have called for lessons to be learnt after receiving a settlement to help with her recovery.

Simmone and Barry Angel, from Highgate in London, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell after being concerned that staff treating their daughter Talia had missed an opportunity to diagnose her brain tumour three years before it was eventually spotted leaving her suffering from facial disfigurement and reduced eye movement.

Talia, now 17, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2007 after an MRI scan and needed surgery to remove the growth, but doctors found that the tumour had also been present on a scan three years earlier at Portland Hospital but had been missed by the doctor responsible.

Since the partial removal of the brain tumour Talia has had to undergo Botox injections to help with the positioning of her eye as she suffered from a deformity caused by the growing tumour.  She also needed further surgery in 2008 to help cosmetically and with her vision but she still struggles with her peripheral vision and has to physically move her head to read words across the page and she needs extra time for exams and any school handouts need to be enlarged for her.

Following her ordeal, specialist medical lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have now secured the teenager an undisclosed out-of-court settlement from the doctor’s insurers which Talia will be able to access when she turns 18 – although liability was never formally admitted. The settlement will help cover the costs of further treatment and surgery as well as the psychological impact of the situation.

Expert Opinion
Talia has been through so much from such a young age. Not only has she had the trauma of dealing with the diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumour, but she has also found out that all of this could have happened three years earlier had it been spotted on the original MRI scans.

“Due to the delay in diagnosis the tumour was allowed to grow and has left Talia suffering from abnormal eye movements, meaning she has to physically move her head across the page to read. She also had three years of unnecessary suffering while they tried to diagnose her problem as well as being left needing further surgery for the cosmetic issues.

“Although liability of the case was never admitted or denied we managed to secure a settlement for Talia which will hopefully allow her to live as normal a life as possible in the future.”
Kelly Morris, Legal Executive
Specialists were first concerned about Talia Angel’s ‘lazy-eye’ from the age of three and in November 2004 when she was six-years old she was referred for an MRI scan at Portland Hospital because her eye movement was becoming worse.

Following the MRI scan on 10 November 2004 a report from the consultant radiologist found no abnormality in her brain. However, after continuing to suffer similar issues for the following three years, Talia was referred for another scan in January 2007 at Cromwell Hospital in London which confirmed a brain tumour was causing the problems to Talia’s eye movement. 

To her parents horror a review of the 2004 MRI scans showed that the same tumour was present but had been missed on the previous doctor’s report and had now grown in the years that had passed.

Talia underwent surgery on 19 January 2007 to reduce the tumour before it could have any further impact on her life but, although surgeon’s were able to remove the growth, Talia’s eye condition medically known as ‘sixth nerve palsy’ still affected her.
 
To add to Talia’s already distressing few years of medical attention, she was then given a series of botox injections to improve her appearance as the tumour had left her facially deformed. 

The injury to Talia means that she is unable to move her eye normally to read. She has to move her head in small movements to the right and then a large movement to the left to start the next line, meaning it takes her much longer to read than the average person with normal vision. This reduces her reading speed leaving her unable to keep up with her peers at school.

Talia’s mother, Simmone Angel, who works as a property developer said: “I am absolutely horrified that my little girl had a brain tumour which should have been picked up on the first scan back in 2004 and because it wasn’t, Talia endured more years of pain and suffering than she really had to go through.

“Having a brain tumour at her age was terrifying and incredibly stressful for us all. Although we appreciate she would have always needed surgery to deal with the tumour, we understand that had it been spotted earlier then the outcome would have been much better and Talia’s cosmetic scars and eye movement would not be as severe.

“Thankfully Talia is still alive today and her on-going reviews show she is now in a stable condition. Any young girl cares about how they look and it can be tough growing up with the issues Talia has had to deal with. I just hope that the medical staff involved in her care learn from this and ensure that it cannot happen to others in future.”