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Hospital trust pays out after blunder costs Solihull sportsman his leg

A YOUNG paralympic hopeful who had to have his leg amputated after doctor failed to perform simple tests on his broken limb has won his fight for justice.

robert oliver

A YOUNG paralympic hopeful who had to have his leg amputated after doctor failed to perform simple tests on his broken limb has won his fight for justice.

Robert Oliver, aged 24, suffered two fractures while playing for Sunday league side Solihull Red Diamonds in February 2008.

Rushing to Heartlands Hospital in agony, doctors neglected to carry out stretch tests which would have highlighted compartment syndrome - a dangerous build up of pressure in the muscles.

After 18 operations to try and repair the damage, he needed an operation to amputate the right leg below the knee.

He has since been awarded a six figure sum by Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust, which has admitted liability for the blunder.

And despite his trauma, Robert, who grew up in Shirley and recently moved to Yardley Wood, has earned a place in the Great Britain Paralympic Kayaking team

"For the first year I was very low," he told the Solihull News. "I took some time to get myself together and very slowly began to build myself up again.

"I went from never having been in a boat to becoming British No 1 earlier this year, which was incredible. I'm aiming to compete at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016.

"The message I really want to get across is that having this disability doesn't mean I can't achieve things."

He also said that he hopes the hospital trust learns from its mistakes, after enduring nine months of pain.

Robert, who was recently named Solihull Disabled Sportsman of the Year, described spending days in unbearable agony after he was admitted.

A simple procedure would have helped with his condition, but it took doctors four days to realise the severity of his injuries.

He will now use his payout, secured by Birmingham-based lawyers Irwin Mitchell, to fund artificial limbs and to help him in later life.

A spokeswoman from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We are sorry that one of the hospital's orthopaedic surgeons did not arrange for the on-call consultant to examine Mr Oliver prior to the ward eound when the first signs of compartment syndrome were apparent.

"This resulted in a few hours delay to Mr Oliver's operation and led to a worse outcome than may otherwise have occurred."

 

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