Elaine was a business owner and had a very active lifestyle, but an MRI scan had found spondylosis of the spine. Although her symptoms were limited, Elaine was told she needed an operation to stop it from getting any worse, to which she agreed. However, when she awoke from the surgery, she was paralysed from the armpits down.

Unable to walk or even get out of bed, Elaine had to rely on the sole support of the nurses and OTs so that she could go home where, for two months, she lay on the sofa unable to move.

Elaine’s was then told she needed another operation. Given that her only alternative was to stay paralysed,  Elaine agreed to having the repeat procedure, but this only made things worse.

At no point was Elaine told exactly what had gone wrong or given any form of diagnosis; she and her family were traumatised by what had happened, especially as her son had to step in to care for her.

They turned to Ally Taft at Medical Accident Group to seek justice and answers. Expert evidence advised that Elaine had not been properly consented for the surgery, and that it was carried out negligently. A successful settlement was reached, and Elaine was relieved that she could use the money towards therapy and care, so that her son didn’t have to provide all of the care any longer.

Ally said: “Probably the most worrying and shocking thing was just the lack of information Elaine had had; she had no idea what went wrong. Elaine was no longer able to work and earn an income and the impact of that on her and her family was devastating.

“In a society where there is access to justice you have to be able to bring those organisations to task and to seek resolution to what has happened to you.”

Elaine said: “Having the settlement means that I can now get any help I need, I can afford to pay for care so that my son can go off and find his own way. It was so reassuring having somebody that wanted and needed to find out the same as I did.”

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Patient left paralysed after poor medical care for spinal tumour

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Meet the Team

Ally Taft, Head of Clinical Negligence

Starting out as a physiotherapist, Ally embarked on her legal training knowing that she wanted to specialise in clinical negligence from the outset. Now a partner for Medical Accident Group, her experience and medical understanding have stood her and her clients in good stead, combined, as they are, with her determination to seek justice for clients whose lives have been devastated by clinical negligence.

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