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Settlement Secured For Woman Left With Brain Damage After Ear Infection Misdiagnosis

Our Medical Law and Patients’ Rights team have secured a settlement for a young woman who sustained brain damage after doctors failed to diagnose an ear infection when she was 14.

Rebecca Prosser visited Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil in February 2006, after enduring weeks of pain and discharge from her left ear, but doctors failed to diagnose the issue.

Her condition worsened until in mid-March, when Rebecca returned to the hospital with nausea, vomiting and swelling around the ear. A middle ear infection was diagnosed and she was transferred to University Hospital of Wales.

Despite surgery related to the infection and a further procedure on the abscess, Rebecca suffered brain damage as well as physical and cognitive disabilities.

Rebecca and her family asked our specialist Medical Law and Patient’s Rights team to investigate the treatment she received. We launched legal action against Cwm Taf Health Board, arguing that the complications could have been avoided if Rebecca's doctors had identified the infection earlier.

Cwm Taf Health Board accepted partial liability for Rebecca's injury, and our experts have secured a settlement of over £4 million to ensure that she can access the care and support she will need for the rest of her life.

Rebecca now suffers from impaired mobility, dizziness, headaches as well as issues with her memory and concentration. While she is focused on gaining her independence, she still relies on her family for many day-to-day tasks.

She said: "Because of the pain I was in, it is very hard to remember too much about what happened when I went to hospital. The injuries have had a huge impact on my life, with my mobility issues meaning it can be very difficult to do many things that people take for granted like make friends and have an active social life."

"It has been difficult and hugely frustrating to try and come to terms with what has happened to me, but receiving this settlement is definitely a chance to now look forward a bit more optimistically to the future. My only hope now is that no one else faces the problems that I have."

Sara Burns, a Partner in our Medical Negligence team, said:

"Had the ear infection in this case been identified during her initial referral to hospital - around a month before it actually was - the outcome for our client could have been very different."

"While nothing can change the challenges and difficulties that Rebecca and her family have been through across the past ten years, we hope that this settlement will provide them with some peace of mind regarding her future and reassurance that she will always be able to access the support she requires."

"It is also vital that lessons are learned from her case to ensure that the problems she experienced are simply never repeated."

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a delayed or misdiagnosed medical condition, our medical negligence solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Medical Misdiagnosis Claims page for more information.

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