Paraplegic Hornchurch mum gets almost �4mill payout after bungled spinal op

A MOTHER-OF-TWO who was left a paraplegic after a bungled spinal operation, this week won an almost �4million payout from Barking Havering & Redbridge NHS Trust.

Angela Dwyer, 49, of Vicarage Road, Hornchurch, broke her back after being thrown from a quad bike while on a Greek island holiday with her family in August 2005.

The classroom assistant, who was a passenger at the time, was thrown from the bike after it hit a tree.

She suffered a fractured vertebrae and was flown back to the UK on a stretcher, at which point her motor system was assessed as being normal in both her upper and lower limbs, her barrister, Joel Donovan, told London’s High Court on Monday.

However things went from bad to worse after Ms Dwyer was admitted to Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, on September 6 for surgery to stabilise her back.

Errors were made during the operation, Mr Donovan said, which led to a number of screws - which were intended to assist in supporting her broken backbone - being driven through her spinal column, leaving her paraplegic.

Ms Dwyer sued the hospital’s managers - Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust - who admitted breach of duty in relation to the operation.

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However the Trust continued to deny that the operation caused Ms Dwyer’s disabilities, and there was due to be a High Court trial on the issue.

But, after eleventh-hour negotiations, the Trust this week agreed to a compensation package for Ms Dwyer valued at �3.9million. The payout will take the form of a �2.4m lump sum, plus annual, index-linked and tax free payments to cover the costs of her care.

Mr Justice Silber, sitting at London’s High Court, approved the settlement, and made an order that �200,000 on account of Ms Dwyer’s legal costs be paid by the Trust within 28 days.