A Ross woman who has been left permanently disabled after a hospital failed to treat her for a brain aneurysm has won substantial damages from the hospital trust involved.

The family of Caroline Deans sued Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital for the treatment which had a devastating effect on her and her family.

Caroline was suffering from a headache when she collapsed in her garden in June 2017.

She was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where scans revealed she had a bleed on the brain and an aneurysm.

Despite discussing treatment options, the medical staff decided to treat her as an outpatient and failed to address the aneurysm.

A week later, Caroline collapsed again and her aneurysm had ruptured, causing severe brain damage. She underwent emergency surgery but was left permanently disabled and unable to return home.

Caroline’s husband, Ray, hired expert medical negligence lawyers to investigate the case and secure a settlement for her lifetime care needs.

The University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which operates the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, admitted liability and apologised to the family.

Ray is now using the substantial settlement to pay for an adapted property and a bespoke care package for Caroline, hoping she can live as independently as possible with her family.

As Caroline’s husband calls for lessons to be learned, the incident has sparked outrage and raises questions about the quality of care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The settlement was reached more than two years after the Trust admitted liability and Ray hopes that this serves as a reminder for the importance of providing proper medical care.

Rosalie Reading, the specialist medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the couple, said: “The catastrophic and avoidable injuries Caroline suffered have had a devastating effect, not only on her but her family.

“The last few years and trying to come to terms with how their lives will never be the same have been incredibly difficult for them.

“We welcome the Trust’s admission and apology. Following this substantial settlement Ray and his family are pleased that they can finally put the added stress of the legal case behind them and now have the security of knowing Caroline’s lifetime needs will be taken care of. Ray’s focus is now on ensuring his wife can access the specialist care, support and therapies she requires because of the failings in her care.

“However, it’s also vital that lessons are learned from Caroline’s case to improve patient safety for others.”

Speaking about his beloved wife Ray said: “Before Caroline’s aneurysm we really enjoyed life as a family and she was such a fun and outgoing person.

“Sadly, that’s all in the past for us now, and seeing my wife struggle day after day is heart-breaking. Caroline used to be strong-willed and independent and looked after all of us but now she needs everyone else to help care for her.

“It’s difficult not to get upset at how our lives, but particularly Caroline’s, have changed forever because of the failings in her care.

“The hardest thing to understand is how she was allowed home from hospital despite doctors knowing she had an aneurysm and discussing it amongst themselves.

‘‘Aneurysms aren’t something minor; they’re extremely dangerous and can have disastrous consequences if they rupture.

“It’s difficult not to think things could have been so different if Caroline received the care she should have.

‘‘Our children would still have their mother looking out for them, our grandchildren would have their granny spoiling them and I would still have my best friend by my side.

“I know we can’t turn back the clock so my focus now is on ensuring Caroline can receive the best possible care and be able to regain some quality of life.

“The last few years of trying to get all of the answers as to what went wrong has felt a real struggle.

‘‘I understand there needed to be various tests and things to assess the level of care Caroline needs, but one of the hardest things to accept is that it’s taken the Trust more than two years to agree a settlement after admitting errors and apologising.

“It feels like there have been unnecessary delays by the Trust and this could have been resolved much sooner without the additional upset of trying to get the best for Caroline while trying to cope with the almost grief like feeling of knowing we’ll never get the Caroline we love so much back.

“Everyone at the home is amazing with Caroline but my main goal now is to get Caroline into her own adapted house so she can have a bespoke package of care and therapies and be surrounded by her family.

“Caroline has been taking part in various therapies such as neuro-physiotherapy, art therapy and music therapy and she has responded well to those.

‘‘There have even been occasions where she has spoken a few words.

“We’d obviously rather not be in this position but all I can hope for now is that the Trust learns from not only how Caroline was badly let down when she needed help but also how families going through the most difficult of times following avoidable medical mistakes need access to the best support and rehabilitation as quickly as possible.”