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Mum brain damaged by hospital gaffe gets record pounds 2m payout.

Byline: Gareth Hughes

A MOTHER-of-three left brain-damaged and paralysed ater a medical blunder at a North Wales hospital was awarded pounds 2m compensation yesterday.

Joyce Roberts has required constant care following the mistake at HM Stanley Hospital, St Asaph, in October 1987, when she was expecting her third child.

She was admitted to the maternity unit suffering with pre-eclampsia, which can lead to fits and convulsions.

Doctors failed to recognise the condition and delayed performing an emergency caesarean.

Mrs Roberts, who was living in Ruthin at the time, suffered two eclamptic fits which left her with brain damage and severe paralysis.

She is confined to a wheelchair and since her discharge from hospital 12 years ago, has been living in Eithinog Leonard Cheshire Home, Colwyn Bay.

The Clwyd Health Authority initially denied responsibility and the case was subsequently inherited by the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust.

Llandudno solicitor Alun Thomas, who represented Mrs Roberts, said: "After a titanic struggle we secured an admission of liability from the authority in 1996. We are delighted that, after all this time, Mrs Roberts and her family have the compensation to help restore some normality to their lives."

The pounds 2m award, which is believed to be the largest ever for that type of injury, was made at a hearing in Preston yesterday. It will enable Mrs Roberts to return to live with her family.

Her husband, Hugh Roberts, and the children, moved from Ruthin in recent years to be closer to her in Colwyn Bay.

Mr Roberts said: "The mistake of doctors at the HM Stanley Hospital has caused years of suffering for my wife and family.

"What should have been a joyous family event has turned into a living nightmare, made even worse by having to fight all the way for every penny of compensation.

"I am pleased that this chapter has now come to a close and would like to express my gratitude to all our friends and family for their support and assistance that they have given us over the years. I would also like to thank our solicitors for all the hard work that they have undertaken in achieving this outcome."

Mr Roberts said he was looking forward to having his wife and family back home. "Hopefully, we shall now be able to close this sad chapter of our lives and we are looking positively to the future, " he added.

Solicitor Phillip Watters, who also represented Mrs Roberts, said while they were delighted with the outcome no amount of money would adequately compensate the family.

"Mrs Roberts' daughter Katie is now 14-years-old and has had to be brought up by her elder sister. Mr and Mrs Roberts have been deprived of any form of normal family life for 15 years, " he said.

Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust chief executive Gren Kershaw said: "On behalf of the North Wales Health Authority and Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust we wish to offer our sincere apologies to Mrs Roberts and her family for the distress and suffering as a result of the incident at the HM Stanley Hospital in October, 1987."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2002
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