A teenage girl who was paralysed during a medical procedure on her spine has won her surgical error compensation claim.
Laura May, who was just 11 at the time of the operation, was under the knife to correct her curvature of the spine. She left the operating theatre paralysed from the chest down, and has been left a wheelchair user for the rest of her life.
Her parents campaigned against the NHS for compensation for the mistakes that were made. They claimed that the surgeon – Roger Smith – had ‘misplaced’ a screw during the procedure. They also claim that the correct procedure was not followed, specifically the use of a particular imaging technique. Judge Justice Slade later criticised the hospital on this failure to provide Spinal Cord Monitoring during surgery when it is widely used in other NHS hospitals.
The parents were successful in their case at London’s High Court in December but the hospital in question – Royal Preston – had planned to appeal. The NHS litigation authority however has just announced that it has dropped its appeal case. This means that the family look set to receive a figure that could run into the millions for their surgical error compensation claim. The two sides’ legal teams will soon decide the exact amount of compensation to be awarded.