A six-figure settlement sum has been agreed for Knaresborough woman left in agonising pain following operation.
A Knaresborough woman who was left traumatised and in agonising pain when a routine operation following the loss of her twins left her with a dislocated jaw has spoken of her relief after expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell secured her a six-figure settlement from the NHS Trust responsible for her care.
As a result of the injury, Amanda Walker has had to undergo a number of invasive procedures to correct the problem, which left her in pain and discomfort for five years, culminating in a partial jaw replacement.
Amanda attended the Harrogate District Hospital in December 2010 for a surgical procedure after tragically suffering a miscarriage, where both of the twins’ heartbeats had stopped.
When she woke up from the procedure she had severe pain in her jaw and struggled to open her mouth without pain.
In January 2011 she visited her dentist and was told that her jaw was misaligned and that damage had been caused to the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the jaw.
Amanda was shocked when she was told she had suffered a dislocation of her jaw, which she believes occurred when a Laryngeal mask was forcefully placed over her face before her operation at the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust hospital in December 2010.
Amanda instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the injuries she suffered and the care provided by the NHS Trust. They have now secured her a six-figure settlement after a full admission of liability from the Trust, despite it denying liability for Amanda’s injuries for four years, adding to the stress and pain she has endured.
Until she underwent a partial jaw replacement in May 2015, the single mother-of-one was in continuous pain with limited use of her jaw and mouth. The pain impacted on her daily life and as such she required assistance from relatives to assist her with her daily routine.
As a result of the continued pain and need for further operations Amanda was unable to return to work as she had planned to do and has been informed by doctors that the titanium prosthesis inserted into her jaw to correct the problem will need to be replaced later in her life.
Ross McWilliams, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who represented Amanda, said:
Amanda has had an extremely difficult time over the last five years. She went into the hospital at a very distressing time for her, shortly after a miscarriage, and the last thing she expected following the procedure was to be enduring years of agonising pain in her jaw.
She is determined that the Trust and staff at the hospital learn from what happened to her. She was left in agonising pain that completely turned her life upside-down and she needed extensive facial surgery to correct the problems she suffered as a result of her dislocated jaw.
Amanda is aware that there she is likely to need further surgery in the future, which is obviously causing her a great deal of anxiety.
We are glad that the Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust has finally admitted liability for the injuries Amanda suffered and agreed a settlement with her. However, the Trust denied responsibility for what happened to her for four years, which caused a great deal of distress and prolonged the litigation unnecessarily for someone who has been desperate to put this terrible ordeal behind her and begin to get her life back on track.
Amanda, from Knaresborough, said:
It really is difficult to explain just how much of an impact the injury I suffered has had on my life. It was obviously an extremely traumatic time for me when I underwent the original procedure and I trusted staff at the hospital to care for me, but instead I was treated in such a way by the Anaesthetist that I suffered a dislocated jaw.
The pain I suffered in my jaw lasted for five years it has completely changed my life. It changed my diet, left me relying on my family more than ever and the most difficult thing was the struggle I had to care for my son because at times the pain was so debilitating.
I have had to undergo a number of procedures over the years to try and correct the problem, which included major surgery when I had a partial jaw replacement in May 2015. All of these procedures have taken time to recover from and added further pain and suffering to my life, particular the partial jaw replacement surgery.
Thankfully the pain has now largely resolved and I am well on the road to recovery but it is difficult to come to terms with the fact the operations may not be over as I know I will need at least one further jaw replacement operation in the future, which is extremely concerning as I’ll have to go through everything again.
I’m glad the Trust has finally accepted responsibility for what happened to me and importantly have made a formal apology in writing. I hope that by me speaking out about what I went through the Trust will improve the way it deals with situations like mine, so when mistakes are made people in my position don’t have to wait years and years for answers.
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.