A 35-year-old woman from Greater Manchester has been awarded £3.1 million in compensation after a surgical error caused a brain injury, which has affected her ability to walk, talk and care for herself.

The mother-of-two has a condition known as Arnold–Chiari malformation, where the lower part of a person’s brain is pushed down and rests underneath the skull. In 2009, she was admitted to the Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to have an operation to repair the third ventricle in her brain, a procedure she needed because of her condition.

As the surgeons were performing the procedure, they accidently inserted medical equipment too far into her brain, causing irreversible and permanent damage.

She is now unable to walk long distances and her eye sight and ability to speak has been significantly impaired. The injury has also caused her to develop mental health problems. She requires full-time care from her husband, who assists her with everyday tasks such as eating and getting dressed as well as looking after their 14 and 16-year-old children.

Doctors have warned that her symptoms will get progressively worse, which will limit her life expectancy.

After the surgical error, her husband contacted medical negligence specialists, Thompsons Solicitors, to investigate a claim for compensation.

He said: “There aren’t the right words to explain the affect this has had on my wife and our family. Telling our children was heart-breaking.

“It’s turned our lives upside down. My wife has lost her independence and relies on me and our family to support with her with everyday things that we all take for granted, like being able to get dressed.

“As a family we’ve been through so much in the last few years but we feel lucky to have had the support of Thompsons during this time. What’s happened to my wife is an injustice, but thanks to the compensation we’ve secured we can plan for our future to make sure we are supported in the best way for my wife and our children.”

Linda Millband, national practice lead of Thompsons’ medical negligence team, said: “One mistake by the surgeon has left this woman completely dependent on her husband at a tragically young age. Before the accident she was an active and devoted mother-of-two, but the severity of the injury now means that her mental and physical health has been changed forever.

“Thompsons will fight for the rights of people who have received sub-standard treatment when under the care of medical professionals. In this case, we have secured a settlement that ensures that our client and her family are in a position to have the care they require to ensure they can build a positive future, despite the devastating consequences of her operation.”