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Patient With Spinal Cord Injury Receives Over £1m For Surgeon’s Errors

In March 2005, Marjorie, from Brighton, underwent an operation to alleviate her long standing symptoms of lower back pain. However, due to errors during the surgery Marjorie has been left with paralysis of her legs and double incontinence, and has to use a wheelchair.

For several years Marjorie had suffered minor low back pain but managed to get on with life and she enjoyed long walks, gardening and going to work. However, the pain began to worsen and continued into her legs. The pain was so severe she had to walk with a stick. When she was 62, Marjorie underwent surgery on her vertebrae and discs in her lumbar spine in order ease some of her symptoms.

Unfortunately, during the operation some of the instruments used to cut the bone skidded off course, into the nerves at the base of Marjorie’s spine. The following day Marjorie realised that she was unable to move her legs, clench her buttocks or feel when she needed the toilet. She was immediately sent for another exploratory operation which showed that the nerves in her spine had been badly damaged.

As a result of the injuries she sustained Marjorie had to spend several months in a neuro-rehabilitation unit where she had intensive treatment. Sadly this treatment did not work and she was left with a significant and permanent disability, and had to have a permanent catheter and a colostomy bag fitted.

Since returning home from the neuro-rehabilitation unit Marjorie has had to employ carers to help her wash and dress every day, as although she can stand to transfer from chair to bed, she cannot walk and she falls frequently. She also requires a significant amount of help around the house with housework, shopping and cooking. Marjorie also begun to suffer memory problems (possibly due to the medication she had to take) and became depressed.

With the help of her Solicitor, Holly Young, Marjorie has received an out-of-court settlement of £415,000 as a lump sum payment plus £64,000 per year for the rest of her life, (the equivalent to around £1,183,000) in order to fund a life time of care.

In addition, the money will Marjorie to make the necessary adaptations to her house so she can continue to live there and purchase an adapted car so that she can gain some of her lost independence.

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