The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is likely to face a multimillion pound compensation claim following a High Court ruling which found hospital staff negligent for a series of blunders involving an operation on a child.
Seven years ago Rebecca Ling, who was aged 13, went into the Middlesex hospital to have a spinal defect corrected.
Sadly, a medical error left the child with irreparable spinal damage which rendered her quadriplegic.
Rebecca’s family entered into a legal battle two years later, which has just been resolved at the High Court, where the hospital was found to be negligent.
Julie Ling, the girl’s mother, said: “When they delivered the verdict it was mixed feelings.
“On the one hand we were relieved, but on the other it was upsetting as it reinforced what we knew – this could have been prevented.
“This fight has aged us. I am 43 but am so worn down I feel 53.”
Prior to the operation Rebecca led an active life despite sufferd with Prader-Willi syndrome, which is a rare genetic condition.
The condition involves low muscle tone and constant feelings of hunger.
Rebecca requires twenty-four hour care and is paralysed from the neck down. She requires a ventilator to help her breathe.
The hospital contested the family’s compensation claim at every stage. The compensation payment will run into millions of pounds.
Julie Ling added: “It’s never been about the money. Our daughter had to endure an entire, awful year in hospital after she was paralysed.
“I didn’t publicly release the name of the hospital to the media for six years. Now I’m not protecting the hospital anymore – not after the way it has treated us and Rebecca.”