A year ago, the clinical negligence team at Penningtons Manches Cooper achieved a successful settlement for a former police officer who underwent an above-knee amputation as a result of a negligent delay in diagnosing and treating a surgical knee wound infection.
The client had served in the Metropolitan Police Service since 2005, although in 2018 he had to retire on ill-health grounds due to his injuries. Now over a year since his claim settled, the team caught up with him to see how his life had changed following his award of damages.
Firstly, the client has been able to purchase suitable accommodation: a bungalow which has been adapted to allow for wheelchair access. He has extended the property to enlarge the kitchen area and create a more comfortable living space. No longer having to contend with struggling up and down stairs, he can instead conserve his energy to do the things he enjoys.
He has also been able to purchase a Genium X3 prosthetic leg with a microprocessor knee. With regular adjustments and support provided by his private prosthetics clinic, he finds that the socket fits perfectly, allowing him to move much more comfortably than his NHS prosthesis allowed. He managed to access successive blocks of intensive rehabilitative physiotherapy to help him build his strength and get to grips with mobilising on his prosthetic leg, which he feels made a huge difference. This contrasts with the limited physiotherapy he would have been able to access through the NHS.
Prior to his injuries, he had enjoyed riding his motorbike and often went on motorbike tours with his wife. The client’s damages have since enabled him to purchase a specially adapted Honda bike, meaning he can return to his previous hobby. Since settlement of his claim, he has enjoyed well-deserved trips to Dubai, Bali and the Maldives with his wife, as well as visiting Disneyland Paris with his nephew.
The client is also now a trustee for Blesma, the military charity for limbless veterans, having received invaluable support from the charity whilst he was recovering from his injuries.
Following his amputation, which has allowed him to get his life back on track without the severe pain he had been previously suffering from, he describes having no regrets. He is positive about the future and feels that there is ‘nothing much I can’t do’.
In addition to securing compensation, the team was able to obtain letters of apology from each of the two defendant trusts who admitted negligence. This made a big difference to the client and helped him to gain some closure and move on with his life.
He commented: “I am grateful and lucky to have had the backing of the Police Federation throughout the process. Penningtons Manches Cooper was instructed to investigate my claim which was run by solicitor Rosie Nelson. Throughout the case she was a true professional with an empathetic nature. When the case became difficult, she was always on hand to answer any questions or give advice and support. I also cannot thank my Police Federation representative enough, who was by my side throughout the process. All who assisted with my case have made my life much more enjoyable, even after such a torrid time.”