Woman Who Suffered Brain Damage as Baby in Bristol Heart Op Wins 'Millions'
Byline: Jan Colley
A WOMAN who claims she suffered brain damage as a newborn baby 22 years ago following heart treatment at Bristol Royal Infirmary yesterday won her High Court action.
The amount of damages to be awarded to Marianna Telles, of Newport, will be assessed at a later date, but her solicitor, Laurence Vick, claimed yesterday that it could run into "several million pounds" over what he described as "one of the greatest scandals in the history of the NHS".
Miss Telles's family claimed that her problems with communication and mobility stem from May 1985 after, as a two-day-old infant, she had a shunt operation to try to improve her oxygen levels.
After the case, Miss Telles's mother, Anna Redman, spoke of her relief that the long legal process had been brought to an end.
"It's a shame that it has taken me 22 years to finally get the truth as to what happened to my daughter at Bristol," she said.
"The authority's constant denial that anything went wrong and that they were in any way responsible for her condition has inevitably prolonged the stress on me and my family and denied her the level of care that she so clearly needs.
"Had it not been for the love and devotion shown to her by her immediate family, whose support has been endless, it would have been extremely difficult to cope and have a semblance of normal life.
"I can now be comforted in the knowledge that her care needs will be met not just now but in the future when family support may no longer be available.
"My heart goes out to other families who have suffered and find themselves in a similar position yet to be resolved."
Ruling yesterday against South West Strategic Health Authority, which denied liability, the judge said that on the balance of probabilities, he was satisfied that Miss Telles suffered damage throughout the period from May 6, 1985, before a first shunt operation, to a second shunt operation days later, because of severe hypoxia.
Because he concluded that the damage would not have been suffered equally over the whole period in question, but did not believe it possible to apportion the damage mathematically, she was entitled to recover her damages in full. …