Karen and Richard’s 17 year old son Ben was travelling in his friend’s car from a holiday in Majorca. His friend fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a tree along the M5 Motorway in Gloucestershire.
Ben sustained a life threatening traumatic brain injury in the form of subarachnoid haemorrhage together with diffuse axonal damage. His Glasgow Coma Score reading at 3 was the lowest compatible with life when he arrived by helicopter at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxfordshire.
Ben was left with significant deficits found in brain injured clients, one of which was a very noticeable ataxia (clumsiness) and a tremor in his left arm and hand. He bravely underwent Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery (”DBS”) in an attempt to improve this.
DBS Surgery is used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms most commonly associated with Parkinson’s Disease, such as tremor, rigidity and walking problems.
The surgical procedure is only used for patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medication.
Ben had a battery operated box implanted under his skin in his chest which delivered electrical stimulation to the parts of his brain which controlled movement. The surgery was partially successful in that the hand tremor did not occur when the hand was at rest but unfortunately the tremor remained during movement.
This is the first case in which Harminder Bains, partner at Leigh Day who dealt with the case, had come across a client who has undergone DBS Surgery and although the tremor remained during movement, Ben was still pleased with the outcome. The surgery was undertaken at the John Radcliffe Hospital.
Ben’s case concluded before trial for a significant sum. Before his case concluded he had already moved into a home large enough to house himself, his family and carers. The money Ben received was enough to pay for ongoing rehabilitation and care.
Rehabilitation and care
- Input from a clinical neuropsychologist;
- Occupational therapy;
- Speech and language therapy;
- Input from a Neurological Rehabilitation Consultant or Consultant Neuro-psychiatrist;
- Case manager
- Support workers;
- An education programme