A mum who went into hospital for a routine procedure after miscarrying her twins has been awarded a six-figure pay out after ending up with a dislocated jaw and a long legal battle.
Amanda Walker has received an apology from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust –half a decade on.
The consequences of a mask being forcefully put on her face prior to the operation and causing the injury contributed to the break down of her marriage and her being unable to return to her work in PR and advertising.
She endured four corrective operations and had a titanium plated prosthetic jaw inserted which had been made bespoke in America.
Now the case has been resolved, Amanda of Knaresborough, is looking to the future with her 11 year-old son, and plans to open her own tanning business.
She said: “I am smiling again and it feels like a huge weight has been lifted. When my solicitor told me I had won I think I was in shock.
“It has been in my life for five years this battle and all of a sudden it is over and you think, ‘what do I do now?’”
In December 2010 Amanda at almost 12 weeks pregnant went for a scan. Within minutes she learned she was expecting twins and the heartbeats of both babies had stopped.
She was booked in for a routine procedure at Harrogate District Hospital to remove the foetuses but when she woke she was in pain and discomfort on the right side of her face and struggled to open her mouth.
She recalled: “I went from elation to sadness. It was not the first miscarriage I’d had so it was a very traumatic time.
“I was in pain emotionally and physically and I was overwhelmed with everything but when I woke up I knew something was wrong.”
The Trust maintained the pain was caused by a condition Amanda had experienced over 10 years ago but medical experts hired by Leeds-based lawyers for Irwin Mitchell proved otherwise. She said: “The Trust put a lot of obstacles in my way and made it quite awkward but I thought I am going to persevere – I had come too far to give up.”
Dr David Scullion, Medical Director, said: “The Trust is pleased an agreement has been reached. We have apologised to Ms Walker for the impact this injury has had on her. We conducted an investigation into Ms Walker’s care with us in 2010 and want to give assurance that we have learned all we can from this incident.”
CATALOGUE OF TREATMENT
* After the operation, Amanda Walker was unable to open her mouth restricting her diet, social life, normal life with Louie and her job.
* She had four corrective operations. Titanium plate and prosthetic jaw inserted leaving her with 80 stitches.
* For 30 minutes a day she exercises to repair damage caused to nerves, tendons and ligaments.
* The prosthetic jaw operation will have to be repeated and replaced in years to come.