A man who was blinded in one eye following routine surgery that went wrong has received a substantial sum in compensation after support from Thompsons Solicitors.

Michael Procter, 68, from Tunbridge Wells in Kent was left blind in his right eye after undergoing an operation to remove cataracts.

Mr Procter, formerly a keen boater and DIY enthusiast, was referred to an Ophthalmic Surgeon after being told he had cataracts in both eyes.

Corneal damage and retinal detechment

But while undergoing surgery on his right eye in November 2005 there was a complication leading to corneal damage and subsequent retinal detachment. Mr Procter needed further surgery to try and rectify it but the sight in his eye couldn’t be saved.

Mr Procter had received no warning of the rare but unavoidable risk of worsening vision which could be caused by undergoing the operation. Had he known of the risks he would have waited until his sight worsened before having his eye operated on.

Mr Procter contacted Thompsons Solicitors to pursue a claim for compensation. The surgeon did not admit liability and settled out of court.

Mr Procter still suffers from cataracts in his left eye which are being monitored and so far are not causing him further problems. He now must wear special lenses to minimise discomfort in his right eye.

Claim was settled out of court

Mr Procter, who is lodging an official complaint with the General Medical Council (GMC), said: “You trust the medical professionals to warn you of the risks involved in an operation. I thought it was a simple operation which is done by the dozen every day. I had no idea that there was a risk I could go blind.”

He added: “I have learnt to adapt to having no sight in one eye. I’m ok when I’m in my home environment because I know where everything is and there are no surprises. It is when I go elsewhere that I have to be careful. Simple things like stairs and stepping off trains are real difficulties to me now. Certain DIY tasks are a problem and my hobby of boating is difficult.”

Charlotta Harpur from Thompsons Solicitors said: “Mr Procter should have been warned of the full risks he faced by undergoing surgery so he could make an educated decision on what would be best for his sight. Now he must live with one blind eye and all of the anxiety and difficulties that accompanies that.”