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Twenty-year fight for medical negligence compensation

Posted in: Head and Brain Injuries Medical Negligence 

The family of a girl who was left severely brain-damaged after an operation has finally been awarded compensation following a twenty-year battle. Nathalie Sugden was left with serious brain damage as a result of failures during a heart operation at Bristol Royal Infirmary. The operation was carried out a month after her birth, August 1994, by a surgeon who was struck off for incompetence by the GMC following the failed operation.

Nathalie’s family has battled for twenty years to gain compensation for the medical negligence suffered under the Bristol NHS trust. This month, they finally agreed to pay the couple a seven-figure sum as compensation. This follows almost two decades of the family struggling to provide the required care to their severely brain damaged daughter.  They also have two other children, which made caring for Nathalie increasingly difficult.

“Angry, frustrated and disappointed”

The settlement means that Nathalie will receive the care she requires for the rest of her life. Even though Nathalie’s parents are happy to finally receive compensation, they said they were “angry, frustrated and disappointed” in how the case was handled. They argued that the NHS Litigation Authority chose to fight the case “instead of admitting liability years ago”.

The operation failures occurred as a result of Nathalie suffering a cardiac arrest during a heart operation. The surgeon then decided to perform a cardiac massage in an attempt to restart her heart. This, however, resulted in her brain being cut off from its blood supply for almost 15 minutes, leaving her with a severe brain injury and other serious health conditions.

Nathalie now attends a specialist school in Devon, where her educational and social needs are catered for.

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