Leicestershire artist wins £37,500 compensation after op left her unable to use arm
An artist has won £37,500 compensation after an operation went wrong, leaving her hardly able to use her left arm.
Margaret Gold, of Cosby, suffered the damage when a surgeon severed nerves in her armpit during an operation at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital to test for breast cancer in April 2009.
The mistake and a delay in follow-up treatment has left her hardly able to use her left arm and hand and she is still not able to straighten the arm.
As well as agreeing a £37,500 settlement, bosses at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS have given assurances that changes have been made to prevent the same thing happening to other patients.
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Mrs Gold, now 70, said: "The doctor knew immediately that something had gone wrong and although I should have had immediate attention, I was left waiting to go to different clinics.
"If something had been done more quickly I might have been able to regain some of the use of my arm and wrist.
"As it is, I can't raise my wrist, it just sort of hangs and my fingers are numb. I haven't painted since it happened. It is difficult to hold a piece of paper and it is now difficult to do everyday things like chopping food because there is no weight in my hand to hold things still.
"It is a constant reminder of what has happened."
Mrs Gold, who was an art therapist as well an artist and illustrator for a range of publications, said: "It is distressing to think this need not have happened but I am pleased the trust has acknowledged and taken responsibility and is making sure that it doesn't happen again.
"I have also received a letter of apology.
"One of the worst things was the delay in getting help after the operation went wrong.
"It meant the operation to try to repair the damage was too late and then my arm was in a sling for so long without physiotherapy and I have never been able to straighten it."
Mrs Gold still has to wear splints to support her wrist.
Anna Manning, a solicitor with Irwin Mitchell in Leicester, said: "This has been a difficult time for Mrs Gold.
"She had put her trust in doctors at Glenfield Hospital and sadly the surgery and aftercare she received was below standard.
"The operation was meant to be a routine procedure but the mistake during surgery has had a major impact on Mrs Gold's life.
"It also took the hospital so long to refer her for follow-up treatment that it was impossible to repair the damage."
A hospital spokesman said: "We have shared the results of the detailed investigation with those involved to try to prevent similar circumstances in future and I would once again like to offer Mrs Gold our most sincere apologies."