Paralysed teenager awarded £14m
Published 26/06/2013 | 13:36
A brave teenager who was left paralysed from the neck down in a road accident is to receive a compensation package worth £14 million.
Issy Sale, 17, will be dependant on a ventilator for the rest of her life and uses a chin-controlled electric wheelchair to get around.
Despite her injuries, Issy - whose intellect puts her in the top 4% of her age group - has just completed her AS-levels and is aiming for a Russell Group university and a career in languages.
Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, who approved the award at London's High Court, said one could not but feel "humbled and impressed" at Issy's extreme bravery and fortitude.
The judge, who later came down to sit by her side for a private chat, added: "It's utterly remarkable what you have achieved. GCSEs and A-levels are not easy for anyone and to have done what you have done is fantastic."
She was told by Frank Burton QC that Issy wanted to subscribe to the Lancet medical journal online so she could follow advances in genetics which might help her condition in the future.
Issy was nine in July 2005 when a car driven by her mother, Jennie, veered across the Horning Road in Hoveton near Ludham, Norfolk, into the path of an oncoming van. Although she was sitting in the back with her seatbelt on, she suffered severe damage to her spinal cord resulting in complete tetraplegia.
Her mother's insurers quickly admitted liability and have made substantial interim payments which have enabled Issy, her GP father, Dr Andrew Sale, her mother and older brother Ted, to buy a more appropriate home in Ludham. The settlement provides for a lump sum of £3.2 million plus annual periodic payments for aids, therapies, 24-hour care and loss of earnings.
Mr Burton said that Issy's family had provided an amazing amount of support with her rehabilitation. Paying tribute to them, the judge said; "I know just how much something like this impacts on everybody. It says so much for you as a family that you have all come through."
Afterwards, Issy, who was accompanied by her father and friends Bethany Lane and Thea Steward, said: "Obviously I am pleased that the case is at a close. I am looking forward to getting on with my life and hope to be able to travel and go to university next year."