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Accident compensation - botched surgery

X-ray of curved spine
14th May 2014

A teenager has been awarded £3.5 million in accident compensation after spinal surgery left her paralysed for life.
But now she tells local newspaper the Lancashire Evening Post how she plans to use the money to achieve her dreams.

The 17 year-old from Chorley in Lancashire has been awarded the accident compensation payout after an operation at Royal Preston Hospital in 2005.

The procedure that was meant to correct a curvature of the spine, left her paralysed from the chest down.

The courageous A Level student said being in a wheelchair will not prevent her from fulfilling her ambition of going to university.

She says: "I’m going to live a brilliant life and hopefully do brilliant things."
She goes on to tell the newspaper that the money "will not pay for Ferraris and crazy goings on - It will pay for the life I want to live."

The High Court in London has approved the financial settlement which will involve a lump sum and periodical payments.
The Lancashire Evening Post reports the youngster says the money will pay for adaptations to help make her life easier.
Remembering life before the botched operation, she said: "I was very adventurous, pretty much a tom boy. I was always outside, never inside, a complete adventurer."
She said she could often be found riding her bike or climbing trees.
When the victim was 11, her mum noticed an abnormality on her spine during a shopping trip.

She went into the operation at Royal Preston Hospital with full use of her limbs but when it was over, she was paraplegic and had lost movement in her body and limbs.

She said: "I woke up after the operation and I couldn’t feel or move my legs - that was the moment when I was not walking at all."

A medical negligence specialist from Lytham on Lancashire's coast, proved the injuries were the result of negligence by orthopaedic surgeon, Roger Battersby Smith.

In 2009 the High Court of Justice in London ruled Mr Smith had failed to use an imaging technique before operating and negligently misplaced a screw during the operation.

During the hearing, the court was told that at the time of the surgery, unlike other centres, Royal Preston Hospital did not offer Spinal Cord Monitoring.

The family received legal aid which the eventual claimant of the accident compensation claims said they needed to be in a position to pursue the accident claims.

Posted by Bryony Flack-Crane