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28.01.19

Woman sues NHS for £1m compensation to start new family after medical mistakes left her infertile

The NHS has been ordered to pay over £1m for a woman to have four surrogate babies in America after medical failures left her infertile – but health chiefs have applied to the Supreme Court for permission to challenge the decision.

The 35-year old woman, granted anonymity by the court and referred to as Ms XX, was given a late cancer diagnosis after medics failed repeatedly to spot her cervical cancer at Whittington Hospital.

She was left with irreplaceable damage to her uterus and ovaries and severe damage to her bladder and bowel, but did manage to harvest 12 of her own eggs before treatment began.

Following the court case, Ms XX won compensation of more than £1m, including £558,945 for four babies via commercial surrogacy in California, America where she now lives.

But as reported in the Sunday Times, the NHS has submitted a 28-page application to the Supreme Court earlier this month seeking permission to appeal against the pay-outs.

Ms XX said: “I have been left infertile through no fault of my own. I didn't choose to be in this position and I deserve the chance to begin a family of my own.”

The woman’s solicitor, Anne Kavanagh of Irwin Mitchell, has claimed that the appeal has left the woman in limbo.

The situation developed when Ms XX’s benign, treatable pre-cancerous condition developed into highly invasive cancer despite several smear tests in 2008 and 2012.

Ms XX underwent surgery in July 2013, followed by chemotherapy and she described the last ten years as a “complete nightmare,” adding it was very difficult for her to deal with being infertile due to negligence.

The London hospital has admitted it did not diagnose the cancer soon enough and said it had “wholeheartedly apologised,” but added that there was now uncertainty as to the state of the law in relation to surrogacy arrangements.

Image credit - NataliaDeriabina

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