£6.74m for kidney op blunder man

Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Queen Alexandra Hospital.
Paul Kingswell, 48, from Gosport Picture: Malcolm Wells (170815-7804)

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A MAN who nearly died during an operation to donate a kidney to his father has won £6.74 million in damages at the High Court.

The 39-year-old – who can only be identified as XYZ – had the surgery at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, in February 2008 in order to donate the organ to his father.

During the operation the father-of-two suffered irreversible kidney failure which meant that he in turn needed a transplant from his sister.

His life was only saved after many hours on the operating table, during which he received more than 100 units of blood and fluid and was in hospital for two months.

His life has probably been shortened by about 10 years and he had to have dialysis. He will also need another transplant in the future.

During the hearing in London Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC told judge Mr Justice Spencer that XYZ had paid ‘a very great price’ for his generous act.

She said the man had wanted to give his father a better quality of life in retirement but had been shattered by the experience.

‘He faces a life filled with considerable uncertainty. He is understandably obsessed by his health. He remains on edge as to whether the kidney will be rejected.’

Nerve damage from the surgery also led to XYZ – who used to run a couple of miles each morning – needing foot surgery which left him unable to run.

His career in market research in the pharmaceutical industry has also been ruined.

He had been planning to set up his own agency.

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability on the basis that the surgeon, who is the subject of proceedings before the General Medical Council, was not only negligent but to a degree reckless.

But the trust disputed the ‘potentially enormous’ compensation involved – XYZ had claimed £14 million – particularly relating to loss of future earnings and medical expenses.

Mr Justice Spencer said the consequences for XYZ, a dynamic and extremely hard-working professional, had been ‘catastrophic’ – physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially.

The judge said that the claimant’s family have also been affected.

A spokesperson for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘The trust would like to provide reassurance that this incident was a unique set of unfortunate circumstances.

‘Following a full investigation, every possible action has been taken to further improve the renal transplant services with the aim of preventing a similar incident of this kind.’