Miss Stanbury had just started a university degree when she was involved in a serious car crash. She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where she was put onto life support. She underwent a craniotomy to remove a section of her skull to expose her brain and thereby reduce any swelling, after which she was placed into a medically induced coma. Her parents were told by medical staff that she would likely not make any meaningful functional recovery.
Against all odds, Miss Stanbury began to make a remarkable recovery. She started to attend regular OT and physiotherapy sessions and was soon able to walk with assistance. Her speech had almost returned to normal and her parents felt they had got their daughter back.
Tragically, however, just two days before she was due to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre, Miss Stanbury was left unattended on a raised bed while she was being washed. She fell from the bed and hit her head, which had been left so vulnerable following the craniotomy. She was discovered having a seizure on the floor by one of the nursing staff.
After the fall, Miss Stanbury was unable to speak. Her brain was swollen and she was unable to move the right side of her body. She did not recognise close family members and was very restless. She continued to attend physiotherapy sessions but her progress was very limited. She was no longer able to stand or lift her right arm.
Miss Stanbury was transferred to the Oxford Centre of Enablement but progress in her rehabilitation remained slow. Her parents were told that she would unlikely see any noticeable improvement in her condition and that she would require care for the rest of her life. She was later transferred to the Wellington Hospital where she underwent nine months of intensive rehabilitation.
Miss Stanbury requires and will continue to require 24 hour supervision and assistance. While she has seen yet another remarkable improvement in her speech and mobility, her personality has changed. She now has very poor awareness of danger and is vulnerable to making rash or impulsive decisions. She has been unable to return to her university studies and continues to be considerably impaired on her right side.
Miss Stanbury's mother instructed Jonathan Zimmern to investigate a claim on her behalf. Jonathan quickly obtained an admission of liability from the trust and obtained expert evidence which concluded that it was not possible to distinguish the injuries she had suffered from each accident. He instructed various experts including a care expert, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, accommodation expert, Neurologist and Neuropsychologist to comment on the treatment and supervision that she will continue to require in the future.
At a meeting with the trust's solicitors Jonathan was able to agree a £3 million lump sum settlement, with additional and significant yearly payments to pay for Miss Stanbury's care and therapies for the rest of her life. It is estimated that over her lifetime, Miss Stanbury will receive approximately £12 million.
Image credit: ceridwen / The John Radcliffe Hospital / CC BY-SA 2.0
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