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Clinical negligence damages awarded to paralysed mum

Clinical negligence damages awarded to paralysed mum

A multi-million pound compensation settlement has been awarded to a mother-of-two who was left paralysed due to mistakes made during a routine operation.

Hazel Spence was admitted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 2006 for a procedure to have a benign cyst between her shoulder blades removed. The surgery was successful and a drain was inserted into her lower back to remove excess fluid from the area while the 35-year-old recovered.

However, two days later, a junior doctor decided to flush the drain because they thought it had become blocked, but instead of taking the gathered fluid away, the professional accidentally pushed the substance further into her spinal cord.

Ms Spence's nerves were therefore damaged and she was subsequently told she was permanently paralysed after she lost the feeling in her legs.

Due to the severity of her injuries, the wheelchair-bound claimant had to give up her career as a beauty therapist and can also no longer take part in her hobby of kickboxing.

Ms Spence took legal action against the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the organisation has now admitted liability, meaning she has been granted a seven-figure damages sum.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail after her compensation settlement was finalised, Ms Spence said she was "devastated" when she found out she would never be able to play football and run with her two sons again.

"It's been heart-breaking to see my children struggle to understand why their mum can no longer play with them and chase them round the garden.

"No amount of money can compensate me for what I have lost. The money I have received is much needed though. My wheelchair is old and there's other equipment this will pay for," she added.

Describing the moment when the junior doctor attempted to clear the drain on her back, Ms Spence said she "screamed out in pain" and told the professional to stop "because it felt like something had been ripped out of my back".

Contact our clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049 or email if you would like advice on any medical negligence matter

Posted by Trusha Vyas