Highgate teenager, 17, wins payout over missed brain tumour
A teenager left with a facial deformity and unable to move her eye after a brain tumour went undetected for three years, has won a five-year fight for compensation to aid her recovery.
Talia Angel, 17, of Highgate, suffered through years of pain and medical tests after a benign growth – present on an MRI scan three years before she was eventually diagnosed with a tumour – was missed by medics.
Doctors at the private Portland Hospital in Great Portland Street, Westminster, where the scan took place in 2004, did not admit liability but granted Talia an undisclosed out-of-court settlement last week following a five-year legal battle.
Her parents, Simmone and Barry Angel, have now called for lessons to be learned.
Mrs Angel said: “I am absolutely horrified that my little girl had a brain tumour which should have been picked up on the first scan back in 2004 and because it wasn’t, Talia endured more years of pain and suffering than she really had to go through.
“Having a brain tumour at her age was terrifying and incredibly stressful for us all.”
The property developer added: “Thankfully Talia is still alive today and her ongoing reviews show she is now in a stable condition.
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“Any young girl cares about how they look and it can be tough growing up with the issues Talia has had to deal with.
“I just hope that the medical staff involved in her care learn from this and ensure that it cannot happen to others in future.”
Specialist doctors first noticed Talia’s “lazy eye” when she was three.
She was referred to Portland Hospital in November 2004, aged six, when she became increasingly unable to move her eye.
The consultant radiologist found no abnormality in the brain, but three years later another scan at private Cromwell Hospital in Earl’s Court revealed a growth caused Talia’s eye problems.
Talia underwent surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in Bloomsbury in 2007 to remove the tumour but was left with “sixth nerve palsy” because the tumour had grown in the intervening years.
The condition means she has to physically turn her head to be able to read, and has left her struggling to keep up with classmates.
She has also received Botox injections to help reposition her eye after her face was left partially deformed by the growth.
The settlement, which Talia can access when she is 18, will cover costs of further treatment and surgery.
Kelly Morris, a medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, representing the family, said: “Talia has been through so much from such a young age.”