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Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2007, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Payout for botched surgery victim
Stuart Duncan
Mr Duncan has been left permanently incapacitated
A 60-year-old man has been awarded compensation running into six figures after a gall bladder operation went wrong, putting his life in danger.

Stuart Duncan, from Llangynwyd near Bridgend, suffered multiple organ failure after his bile duct was severed during routine day surgery.

After the mistake at the Princess of Wales Hospital in 2004, corrosive bile flowed into his abdominal cavity.

Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust issued its "unreserved apologies" to Mr Duncan.

The exact amount of compensation has not been disclosed by either party.

Mr Duncan had been discharged from hospital after the keyhole surgery, but returned by ambulance the next day after feeling "extremely uncomfortable" according to his solicitors.

Further surgery then uncovered the extent of the problem.

This error has caused me a lot of pain and my wife a lot of unnecessary stress and worry
Stuart Duncan

Mr Duncan, a former safety practitioner, was transferred to Bristol Royal Infirmary in a critical condition with multi-organ failure and septicaemia.

His solicitor, Cathryn Davies, said: "By the time he was discharged from Bristol in June 2004, Mr Duncan had undergone nine operative procedures.

"On numerous occasions his family thought that he wouldn't pull through. Even after being discharged he required further major surgery as a result of complications in April 2005."

Ms Davies said the surgery should have been "a relatively simple operation".

"However Mr Duncan experienced a very traumatic time, during which he also lost his job because he couldn't work," said Ms Davies.

"The family were left in serious financial difficulty."

'Difficult period'

Mr Duncan's condition has since improved, but he has been left permanently incapacitated due to a large abdominal hernia.

A spokesman for the solicitors which represented him added that the surgeon responsible had admitted liability immediately and the case was settled by the trust.

Mr Duncan said the last few years had been "a difficult period".

"This error has caused me a lot of pain and my wife a lot of unnecessary stress and worry," he said.

"I am as good as can be expected - I am here to tell the story, but there are some things I can't do now.

"I'm glad at least that I've been able to secure compensation for what I've been through.

"That is my form of income from now on - I haven't worked and I can't work."

A Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust spokesperson said the Trust "wanted to reiterate its unreserved apologies to Mr Duncan for any pain and distress".

It said it was pleased for Mr Duncan that the case had now been settled, and it was "continually reviewing its clinical processes to ensure they meet ever-changing standards".

It's ruined our life to what we used to do."

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