A 12-year-old boy is to receive medical negligence compensation after errors by hospital staff left him with serious brain injuries.
On a morning in September 2006, the child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was taken to St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouth with stomach pains.
Staff at the hospital failed to spot that the child, who was aged four at the time, was displaying signs of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.
As a result, he did not get the required treatment on time and he suffered a cardiac arrest, which led to him experiencing significant brain damage and serious disabilities.
The boy's family therefore took legal action against Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the organisation that runs St Mary's Hospital.
A medical negligence compensation settlement in the amount of £6.7 million has now been agreed. This compensation will be used to fund the child's extensive and long-term care needs, such as round-the-clock assistance and specialist technology to enable him to communicate.
The boy will receive £3.2 million compensation in a lump sum up front, while he will be paid £265,000 compensation every year until he is 18. The compensation payments will then rise to £305,000 per annum for the rest of his life.
Hospital Trust Apologises
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust has issued a formal apology to the boy and his family for the medical mistakes that were made at St Mary's Hospital eight years ago. A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed that since liability was resolved in 2012, each party has been working together to agree a suitable compensation package.
This was designed with the intention of both compensating the boy and his parents and providing them with adequate financial security for the future.
The spokesperson said, "The Trust can confirm that a medical negligence compensation settlement has been reached in this case and that this has been approved by the Court. The Trust wishes them well."
Doctors 'Should Have Listened'
Speaking after the compensation settlement was agreed, the boy's parents said that doctors should have listened to the concerns they had raised about the condition of their son.
In a statement, they insisted that if this had been done, this "tragic" event "would have been easily avoided". The parents have therefore urged other mothers and fathers to trust their instincts if their child is not well.
"If you believe that something is wrong, then insist that action is taken by the doctors," they commented. "Nothing will ever make up for the life that has been taken away from him."
The boy's parents said their son's life has been "completely ruined", as his condition means he will miss out on a whole host of experiences. For instance, they stated that he will never be able to play on a beach, kick a football around with his friends, or attend his school prom.
The parents went on to note that their son and his "enormous daily battle" have proved to be a source of inspiration to everybody that knows or has met him.
"This is an absolute tragedy caused by medical mistakes that should never have happened," they added.
By Francesca Witney