Our specialist team of medical negligence lawyers has secured a compensation settlement for a former policeman who has undergone multiple amputations after doctors failed to treat his sepsis infection quickly enough. The settlement, along with interim payments, pays for vital rehabilitation therapy, adapted accommodation and prosthetics. It also supported Dean to become a dad to two girls.
Dean fell ill with a septicaemia blood infection in October 2010 and was soon rushed to hospital, where was placed into a medically induced coma after falling into septic shock. However, medics at the Leeds General Infirmary missed the “golden hour” to treat his sepsis and Dean’s body began shutting down its extremities to try and protect his vital organs.
Dean underwent 30 operations over two years to repair the damage that had been done. Both his legs were amputated below the knee and he had a hip replacement. His right hand, three fingers from his left hand, his right ear and parts of his nose were also removed.
Psychological problems followed as Dean, a former Northern Ireland javelin thrower, struggled to adapt. “I was active, I liked to keep fit, I had pride in how I looked, I’d met a girl I really liked and all of a sudden I had to cope with losing my legs, hand and bits of my face,” Dean said. “I’d lost my dignity and self-worth. My girlfriend at the time left her teaching job to care for me. It was a very dark period and felt as though life wasn’t worth living.”
Clinical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell investigated Dean's care and secured an interim payment and then settlement of the claim. This allowed him to:
- Buy better prosthetics
- Get an adapted car
- Rent a bungalow before later purchasing an adapted property
- Buy home gym equipment
- Get rehabilitation therapy.
Thanks to his rehabilitation, Dean and his former wife were able to have IVF treatment and went on to have two daughters, the first being born in 2017. Dean successfully completed a degree in Theology and hopes to become a voluntary priest. He also volunteers at the intensive care unit at LGI and even flew to Cambodia to help landmine victims. “I’d never imagined I would have been able to do any of the things I’ve done now. Now I’ve got my independence back."
“I hope that my story will help prevent others suffering the way I have.”
Dean’s lawyers secured an award for damages so he can have the accommodation, rehabilitation, prostheses and care he requires to live as independently as possible for the rest of his life. Sarah Coles, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell involved with Dean’s case, said:
“Not diagnosing and treating Dean’s infection that led to sepsis early enough changed his life forever and although nothing can turn back the clock, the award of damages he will receive means he will be able to afford suitable and different prosthetics throughout his life and the on-going rehabilitation he will need."
“Through our close work with The UK Sepsis Trust we have seen the urgent need to promote the signs of sepsis and provide early care in the UK and hope that this awareness campaign will help save thousands of lives and improve the outlook for all of those affected.”
Dean himself has spoken out as part of Sepsis Awareness Month to help raise the profile of sepsis in the UK and has featured on the BBC, Daily Mail and more.
If you or a loved one has suffered from misdiagnosed or poorly treated sepsis, our medical negligence claims team may be able to help. See our Sepsis Claims page for more information.
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