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A 15 year old boy has received a six-figure compensation payout after suffering brain damage whilst at hospital.
Joshua Boyce, who lives in Gleadless, Sheffield, had a congenital condition that left him unable to speak. He also had reduced movement and severe learning difficulties and other medical problems. As a result of this condition, Joshua also suffered with mild epileptic seizures.
However, despite these problems, Joshua was able to get around inside his own home including walking up and down the stairs safely and showed considerable intelligence.
As a result of his brain injury, Joshua had a number of operations over his life including several operations on his brain. As an in-patient, given Joshua’s particular needs, it was thought necessary that special measures were in place to monitor and care for Joshua continuously.
In January 2002, when Joshua was 10 years old, he was admitted to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital for further surgery to drain a cyst on his brain. Joshua was placed in a cubicle of his own which was not visible from the nursing station.
Christopher Boyce, Joshua’s father, remembers, "I arrived at the ward the next morning and was met by the paediatric consultant and the nursing supervisor. They told me that there had been a serious incident involving Joshua earlier that morning.
"A twelve year old girl had found Joshua lying on the floor. Staff attended and saw that Joshua had a curtain cord wrapped around his neck. He wouldn’t respond and his lips were blue. He had suffered a cardiac arrest and a lack of oxygen to his brain.
"We would like to thank the girl who found Joshua as, without her vigilance, Joshua may not be with us now."
Following the brain injury, Joshua developed additional problems and it was thought that the incident made his pre-existing brain injury worse.
Joshua had problems with the right side of his body and had developed problems using the stairs, requiring help which he had not previously needed. He could also only walk about 20 yards before becoming tired.
His parents noticed an increased number of epileptic seizures with jerking, whereas before the admission into hospital, they had considered stopping Joshua’s medicine as his epilepsy had greatly improved.
Joshua also became scared of being left alone, and found sleeping more difficult.
His payout was secured with help from brain injury solicitor, Tom Mather from national law firm Irwin Mitchell. Mr Mather said "It has taken nearly four and a half years for this settlement to be reached. Joshua has suffered significant additional injuries as a result of the accident he had at the hospital and this has led to him needing ongoing additional care.
"We are satisfied that this money will help to make Joshua’s life easier and will go some way to compensating him for the extra pain and suffering that the accident has caused."
Joshua's compensation settlement was approved at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on 26th March 2007.
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