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Meningitis Victim Wins Six-Figure NHS Payout

A young mother whose life-threatening meningitis went undiagnosed for months, resulting in a devastating brain injury which left her requiring 24-hour care and assistance in looking after her six-year-old son, has won a six-figure sum in compensation from the NHS.

The woman was first rushed to hospital in December 2009 suffering from a tight and uncomfortable chest. Although an X-ray revealed a shadow on her lungs, she was told that no further action was needed. In the following months, she suffered classic symptoms of meningitis, including headaches, vomiting, dramatic weight loss and regular fainting. She was examined by doctors on several occasions but was informed that she had nothing to worry about.

It was not until April 2010 that she was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she had a scan and was diagnosed with rare tuberculosis meningitis. She underwent immediate surgery to fit a shunt to drain fluid from her brain. However, the delay in diagnosis had resulted in serious damage to her brain. Her injury particularly affected her memory and her ability to process information.

She sued the NHS trust with responsibility for the hospital, which admitted liability and agreed to a final settlement of her claim. The exact sum involved was kept confidential.

In approving the compromise as 'entirely appropriate', the High Court paid tribute to the 'tremendous job' the woman's mother had done in caring for her and assisting her in looking after her son.

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