£1.3m for botched spine operation
by BBC News / Health
A 22-year-old woman who was left paralysed from the waist down after a botched operation has been awarded £1.3m by the High Court.
Samantha Rose, who has spina bifida, sued Buckinghamshire Health Authority after a 1990 operation to straighten her spine went "tragically wrong".
Ms Rose, from Berkshire, had been able to attend a normal school, ride a bike, run and climb trees before the operation at Stoke Mandeville hospital.
During the operation, she suffered haemorrhaging and lost a large amount of blood.
As a result, her brain was starved of oxygen and she was left paralysed from the waist down and with the mental age of a six-year-old.
Her ability to speak has been impaired and she can only use one of her arms.
Ms Rose is totally dependent on her parents, who have four other children.
Just a few years ago, one of their sons was killed in a car accident.
Ms Rose's mother, acting on her behalf, and the health authority, which has admitted liability, agreed the £1.3m compensation payment. Judge Brian Altman said he believed it was a fair amount.
He added that it was not the maximum sum for such injuries because there was some dispute over how long Ms Rose was likely to live.
Most of the money will go towards future care costs when her parents are too old to look after her.
She is likely to need care in a residential home.
Buckinghamshire Health Authority says it has "every sympathy for Samantha and her family, and hopes that the settlement will help her and those hwo care for her to secure her comfort and the best quality of life possible".
The case is the latest in a space of £1m plus compensation payments by health authorities and adds to the NHS' rising bill for medical negligence.
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