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£1 Million Damages for Botched Brain Surgery

A former paramedic who was left severely disabled after a surgeon mistakenly removed a healthy part of his brain has won £1 million in compensation.

John Tunney, 63, suffered a suspected thyroid problem in 2008. He underwent a series of tests, and was referred to a specialist at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry after an MRI scan revealed abnormalities around his pituitary gland.

Mr Tunney underwent a biopsy on his pituitary gland. Unfortunately, the surgeon removed a healthy part of his brain, as a result of which Mr Tunney suffered a huge haemorrhage.

The error has left Mr Tunney partially blind and he now requires around-the-clock care.

It later emerged that the biopsy which led to Mr Tunney’s injuries had been unnecessary: an earlier blood test revealed that he was suffering from prolactinoma, a non-cancerous swelling in the pituitary gland. The condition can be treated with medication, but the results of the blood test had not been checked before the biopsy.

A claim for compensation was brought against the NHS Trust responsible, which admitted liability for the injury. Mr Tunney received a seven-figure amount in compensation. He and his wife have used part of the financial settlement to buy a specially adapted bungalow in South Wales.

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