A family left devastated by a catalogue of hospital errors have been awarded more than £1m compensation.
Seven years ago Tracey Hughes fell in her garden, breaking her leg. The mistakes that followed left her partner jobless and her family homeless.
She has now won a £1.2m pay-out from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Tracey, who was 36 at the time, was taken to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital following the fall in October 2006. She had broken her right tibia and fibula.
She had routine surgery and should have been home within two days and been in plaster for up to eight weeks. She was expected to recover in six months.
But the operation to mend the fractures was not performed properly and the leg was not immobilised as it should have been.
As a result she underwent further surgery in November 2007 but again mistakes were made.
Tracey was referred to specialists at Leicester Royal Infirmary in January 2008 and has undergone a series of painful operations to try to fix the problem. For a long time she even faced the prospect of having her leg amputated below the knee.
The operations included shortening her leg by 3.5cms and fusing her ankle bones. She is likely to face further surgery and has been left with significant and permanent pain.
Tracey required so much care that her partner Simon was forced to take prolonged time off work and as a result he lost his job.
The family fell into arrears with mortgage payments and their home was repossessed by Northern Rock.
The house was quickly sold with negative equity and the couple have been pursued by the lender ever since.
Before the accident the couple and their three children had been planning to relocate to Spain where Simon had the chance to work on an overseas contract. They were forced to abandon the move.
“The last seven years has been a complete nightmare for the whole family,” said Tracey (43).
“Simon lost his job, we lost our home, our dream of relocating to Spain was in tatters and my own hopes of training to become a veterinary nurse are ruined.
“We are relieved that the case has finally been settled after such a long time but I have to live with the consequences for the rest of my life.
“The compensation has brought some relief to the stress the family have suffered but it can’t make up for the trauma.
“Our lawyer, Stephen Lambert, has been a godsend. I don’t know what we’d have done without him. He’s become like a member of the family and has helped us enormously through this horrible ordeal.”
Mr Lambert, of law firm Bridge McFarland, said: “What the family have suffered is truly appalling. The pressure on Tracey, Simon and their children has been intense but we are satisfied that we were able to bring them financial security after such a long fight.”