Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Family's 18-Year Fight for Brain-Damage Son Ends in Pounds 10m Payout ; Hospital Finally Agrees to Record settlementNow We Can Look after Him, Says Relieved Mum

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Family's 18-Year Fight for Brain-Damage Son Ends in Pounds 10m Payout ; Hospital Finally Agrees to Record settlementNow We Can Look after Him, Says Relieved Mum

Article excerpt

THE FAMILY of a boy left with devastating brain damage after being treated in hospital for a routine condition have received a Pounds 10 million payout - the biggest in British history.

Zach Petrou was a healthy seven month old baby when he was taken to Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport with the viral infection Croup in 1994.

His condition deteriorated and he had emergency treatment before being transferred to a second hospital.

But when he was taken off a ventilator there, Zach was found to be severely brain damaged.

His parents Margaret and Andros, from Tameside, believe he was deprived of oxygen during his treatment at Stepping Hill and that caused his injuries.

Despite being warned by experts that they were unlikely to win, they embarked on a marathon legal battle to secure his future.

Now, 18 years on, health chiefs have agreed the settlement - thought to be the biggest ever in the UK. Stepping Hill has not admitted liability but has agreed to pay an eight figure sum to Zach's family, to help pay for his care.

Mum Margaret, 54, said: "We're just very relieved. This result does bring us some level of comfort.

'We are still grieving for the baby we lost that day' "One of our biggest concerns was what would happen to Zach when we were no longer here to care for him. We can now concentrate on his care and get him the best of what he needs."

Zach is now 19. He is fully mobile but functions at the level of a six to eight month old baby and needs round-the-clock care from at least two full time carers.

He is expected to live beyond the age of 70. Dad Andros, 50, said: "We have been left devastated by what happened to Zach. When we realised how badly brain damaged he was we were inconsolable. His future was taken away from him at that point.

And the hardest thing to come to terms with has been the fact that we have always believed that what happened to Zach was entirely avoidable. …

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