Manchester

Stepping Hill Hospital to pay '£10m' over brain damaged man

A hospital has agreed to fund lifetime care expected to cost around £10m for a man who was brain damaged after being treated for croup as a baby.

Zach Petrou, 19, was left with the mental capacity of a baby following treatment at Stepping Hill Hospital.

The hospital has not accepted liability but has agreed to settle the family's medical negligence claim at Manchester High Court.

His parents alleged he was deprived of oxygen during treatment in 1994.

They took him to the hospital suffering from croup, a treatable and common viral infection, but his condition deteriorated and he was placed on an emergency ventilator.

When he was taken off the ventilator he was found to be profoundly brain damaged.

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Media captionAndros and Margaret Petrou told 5 live about their son's care.

Father Andros, 50, of Mottram, said: "We have been left devastated by what happened to Zach.

"We lost our son in 1994 at seven months of age, his future was taken away from him at that point.

"Zach went into the hospital a healthy baby boy but was given back to us severely brain damaged.

"The care that Zach needs is relentless. If you can imagine the needs of a baby but in an adult's body, that is how he will be for the rest of his life."

Zach has a normal life expectancy and, as he is doubly incontinent, fully mobile and can be unpredictable and violent, he needs at least two carers round the clock.

This means the settlement figure will potentially be one of the largest ever in the UK, solicitor Diane Rostron said.

Image caption Zach Petrou's parents alleged he was was deprived of oxygen as a baby

A team of experts will now look at exactly how much Zach's care for the rest of his life will cost, before a figure is agreed.

Ms Rostron said: "Securing the settlement today which, based on my lengthy experience, we estimate will be valued at a significant eight figure sum, will pay for that essential care.

"Zach is expected to live beyond the age of 70 and needs comprehensive round the clock.

"I hope this settlement will help secure the lifelong care package that Zach needs and at the same time provide a little bit of freedom for Mr and Mrs Petrou."

Mr Petrou said: "We were forced to go down the legal route just to get justice for our son.

"We still believe that what happened to Zach should never have happened and we hope that it never happens to another family again."

NHS North West said: "We are pleased that the parties involved in this case have been able to work together to agree a liability settlement which has been approved by the court."

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