A FORMER police officer has received more than £1million compensation from Warwick Hospital after being left partially paralysed.
The unnamed 61-year-old man from south Warwickshire, who worked for the police for more than 40 years, went to the Lakin Road hospital for a routine hip check in 2010 and was given an epidural injection in his back for pain.
But four days later he suffered severe back pain and returned to the hospital for advice.
The man was admitted, but it was two days before he was sent for an MRI scan, which revealed a large abscess on his spine. He then needed an emergency operation to drain the infection, but it had already caused paraplegia – a paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury.
If the scan had been carried out earlier then the man’s life-changing injuries – which have left him needing a wheelchair, incontinent, and unable to walk without help– could have been avoided.
Prior to the incident, the man enjoyed football, running and had even spent time working as an undercover police officer.
The severity of his injuries forced the victim to move from the family home to a bungalow.
He said: “My way of life has been turned upside down by this injury. I was an active, independent man and very happy in my job, but now I’ve been forced to take medical retirement and am reliant on family members to help me every day, which is both upsetting and frustrating.
“While I have learnt to live with my injuries, the compensation I have received has made my life more comfortable. Leaving our long-term family home was upsetting but my quality of life is much improved in a bungalow and without the compensation this wouldn’t have been possible.”
The injuries have also led to bouts of depression, but he has continued his passion for exercise and has even completed the London Marathon in his wheelchair.
Michael Burrell of Thompsons Solicitors, who fought his case, said: “Our client is an incredibly positive and determined man. He has gone through unimaginable amounts of trauma due to negligence at Warwick Hospital. His way life has changed beyond recognition but he is adamant that his injuries won’t completely stop him from setting himself new goals and challenges.
“If he had had an MRI scan when he was first re-admitted to hospital, this awful situation could have been avoided.”
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust – which runs Warwick Hospital – said it had learnt from its mistake.
A spokeswoman told the Observer: “On behalf of the trust I wish to express our sincere apologies for the care that was provided.
“In 2010, at the time of the incident, one of our lead clinicians completed a full review and this was communicated directly with the patient affected. A number of changes were made as a result of this investigation.”