Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Hospital error girl talks of fight

Sophie Tyler, 17, was left paralysed from the waist down when a spinal anaesthetic was left in too long after a routine operation

A schoolgirl left paralysed from the waist down by a devastating hospital error has spoken of her fight to live a normal life.

Sophie Tyler, 17, of Risca, near Newport, South Wales, will never walk again after an epidural was mistakenly left in place for more than two days.

It followed her admission to Birmingham Children's Hospital in May 2008 for routine surgery to remove gallstones.

A medical law expert is now calling on hospital bosses to ensure lessons are learned from the devastating error.

They have admitted liability in a move which opens the way for a full settlement providing Sophie with financial support for the rest of her life.

Mother Sue Tyler has spoken of how the tragic error transformed her daughter from a normal outgoing teenager overnight.

Sophie spoke of how the horror at learning she would never walk again simply left her feeling "numb".

"Numb is how I felt. In the beginning it did not really sink in. It did not seem real at all," she said.

"That came later when I got home. Then a lot of people, friends and family, were really really good to me, but to be honest I didn't want to see anyone. I shut myself off from the world, it was just the family at that point."

Medics initially told Sophie and her family it was possible she might regain some or all of her mobility, but that proved false.

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