L was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2009 and underwent a double mastectomy. Her left cancerous breast was removed at Stepping Hill Hospital on 20 May 2009. The right breast was removed as a precaution in 2010 at the Wythenshawe Hospital. Expanders were fitted in both breasts to expand the skin in readiness for reconstructive surgery at Wythenshawe Hospital. The surgeon planned to reconstruct both breasts at the same time.
On 25 February 2011 L attended Wythenshawe Hospital for reconstructive surgery. When she came round from the surgery, she was not happy with the results. Her right breast appeared to be pointing downwards and her left breast was half the size with a large flap of skin which looked misshapen. She was discharged with drains in both her breasts the following day. She was not given any antibiotics. Upon discharge, she was in pain but felt this was to be expected. She was concerned however that she had not been given antibiotics as she remembers having them previously.
Post operatively L’s health deteriorated and on 4 March 2011 she was rushed to A&E at Stepping Hill Hospital. In the ambulance her kidneys began to shut down. On arrival at hospital she was put on dialysis and a life support machine. Her partner was told her organs were shutting down and she was in a life threatening condition.
She was referred for a scan and a huge amount of infection was found behind the left implant. She was operated on to drain the entire left cavity. Following surgery she was in intensive care for 6 days.
Due to the treatment to protect her vital organs drawing blood away from her extremities, she lost blood flow to her fingers and toes. She developed dry gangrene and had to have her toes amputated. She lost sensation in her fingertips.
Iona Meeres-Young obtained her extensive medical and treatment notes and instructed a Consultant Breast Surgeon to report on liability. Liability was admitted in response to a letter of claim. Proceedings were issued protectively and judgment was entered in L’s favour.
Iona commissioned quantum evidence from experts in orthotics; care and occupational therapy; pain management; rehabilitation; orthopaedic surgery; psychiatry; and accommodation.
Settlement was reached for a capitalised sum of £1.592million. L has been able to purchase and adapt a more suitable property and has employed a support worker to assist her around her home. Through the provision of highly specialised orthotics and a coordinated psychological pain management program, L has started to look for work again. L’s life will never be the same, but bringing this claim has restored her independence and quality of her life.
“L is a remarkable woman. L was devastated by events in 2011 and I am delighted that she is now able to piece her life back together”.
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