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Lifetime Of Care Secured For Brain Damaged Man

Markland Family Welcome Court’s Approval


The family of a man left with severe brain damage following serious failings in care he received on two separate occasions have spoken of their relief after funding was secured that guarantees him a lifetime of around-the-clock support.

Not only was 41-year-old Gary Markland seriously let down by medical staff when he was born after they failed to spot he wasn’t feeding properly, leading him to develop dangerously low blood sugar levels causing catastrophic brain damage, years later staff at a centre specialising in management of epilepsy failed to refer him for treatment following an epileptic seizure which led to him suffering further brain damage. 

Experts in medical law and patient rights at Irwin Mitchell represented Gary and his family at an approval hearing at the High Court in Manchester today (Wednesday 5th October) where it was agreed he will receive a seven figure sum over his lifetime to ensure he can have as normal a life as possible in spite of his condition.

Jennifer Cawthorne, from the firm’s Manchester office, supported the family in their battle for justice. She said: “The severe brain injuries suffered by Gary mean that he is fully dependent on others to provide him with 24 hour care.

“The extent and complexity of the problems he faces mean the funding which has been secured will ensure he can access this 24-hour care together with rehabilitation and therapy services that will prove invaluable throughout his day-to-day life.

“It also means that his family can guarantee he has accommodation adapted to meet his everyday needs, and a specially adapted vehicle.”

Gary, from Wigan, was the victim of mistakes in his aftercare at Billinge hospital in Lancashire in 1970 when staff failed to spot that he wasn’t feeding properly during the first few days after his birth causing him to develop hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels).

This led to Gary’s brain being starved of oxygen, leading him to develop cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. Had staff spotted that his blood sugar levels were low and administered glucose treatment it was argued that brain damage would have been avoided.

North West Strategic Health Authority has this week agreed to pay damages over Gary’s care at Billinge hospital, while The David Lewis Centre in Wigan also contributed toward the seven figure settlement after mismanagement of treatment Gary received there in 1992 - when he had an epileptic seizure - led to him suffering additional brain damage.

Commenting on the outcome, Gary’s mother Irene Markland, from Wigan said: “To know that my son will always be looked after is a huge relief for us all. While no amount of money will repair the damage done, we now have a chance to move on with our lives ensuring he gets as much out of life as possible.

“His dad Roy, who passed away last month, would have been so relieved to know Gary now has access to the care he needs for the rest of his life. I’m devastated that he didn’t get to see this day arrive at long last.  That he missed it by just a few weeks is hard to cope with, and makes me really angry.”

Jennifer Cawthorne added: “While the settlement is welcome news, it has been a long journey to this point.  It has been all the more heartbreaking for them that Gary’s dad missed seeing this life changing day for his son arrive.

“I only hope now the family are able to take some degree of comfort from the fact that Gary now has financial support he needs to access care and support throughout his life, and that they can begin to look forward to the future together.”

The family do not wish to comment further. If you have any questions please contact the Irwin Mitchell press office on 0114 274 4666 or email pressoffice@irwinmitchell.com.