Medical negligence is an unfortunate occurrence, but when it happens, it is good to know that there is specialist support on hand.
An active, resilient man, John Barton – who is a World War II veteran – was living at home with his adult son with general good health, walking a few miles to the shop in good weather.
But, after feeling sudden, severe sharp pain in his right leg after getting out of a chair one day, John decided to call his GP.
After examining John’s leg and foot he was diagnosed with sciatica and prescribed pain-killing and anti-inflammatory drugs.
John remained in pain, in bed, using a broom as a crutch to get to the toilet. Four days later, John fell on the way to the bathroom and was admitted to hospital.
It was recognised that the circulation in his leg was severely compromised. Two days later he had an above-knee amputation.
Experiencing an embolism, or clot, in his right leg, the clot caused a restriction to blood flow.
From John’s journey being able to walk several miles to becoming an amputee, John had a case to bring forward against his GP for negligence as he failed to correctly diagnose and refer John urgently to hospital, at which time his leg could have been saved.
Taking legal action, many legal professionals said that John’s case would be his words against the GP.
Discovering Medical Solicitors, John’s journey to justice was imminent as lawyers asked John Scurr, an eminent vascular surgeon, to comment on what the condition of the foot would have been four days before amputation.
This crucial step made it clear that it was John’s account of how his foot appeared and felt when the GP examined him that should be preferred. This allowed the GP expert to say that the GP simply got it wrong.
Being a war veteran, John was ‘taking no prisoners’ on this issue, typically stoic to the end. Determined, John adapted to his acquired disability and now manages to walk short distances using a prosthetic leg.
Even so, John had to move to a ground floor flat in shelter accommodation due to the change. Which would not have been necessary had the GP diagnosed John correctly and efficiently.
Compensation was claimed not just for the amputation and past costs of rehousing, but also for future care and future accommodation costs, with the intention of getting John moved to a private single storey apartment with a carer, so he could be reunited with his possessions.
Settlement was reached at the door of the court and John was happy to accept the six-figure sum, plus costs.