A mother whose hands and feet needed to be amputated after she was allegedly misdiagnosed by a hospital has been awarded £17.9 million. (Daily Mail)
Tabitha Mullings, from Brooklyn, New York, was paid the staggering sum by a hospital and the city after the nightmare also left her partially blind.
Mullings went to the emergency room in 2008 and was sent home with a kidney stone diagnosis – but continued to experience excruciating pain.
When she called 911 twice the following day, medics did not take her back to the Brooklyn Hospital Center, the New York Daily News reported.
Her partner rushed her to a different hospital the next day, but the mother-of-three had developed a sepsis infection.
She fell into a coma and gangrene spread to her extremities. When she woke up, her hands and feet were gone, and she was blind in one eye.
She immediately filed a lawsuit. She continued to battle the city and hospital while also fighting to recover from her life-changing injuries.
More than $9.4 million of the payout comes from Brooklyn Hospital and two of its doctors, while the city will pay 8.5 million, the Daily News reported.
‘The reality is, I’m going to be like this the rest of my life,’ Mullings, 35, who now relies on prosthetic limbs to move around, told the paper.
She said she dreams of running and jumping but is reminded of her reality on waking up.
She added: ’I may be the strongest woman on Earth; at the end of the day someone has to put a pin in my hair.’
‘This is a fair and reasonable and amicable resolution,’ Mullings’ lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein told the Daily News. ‘Justice has been done.’
The payout – which meant the case avoided going to a jury trial – came despite the hospital’s insistence it treated Mullings appropriately.
It feared a jury would be swayed by her injuries so decided to settle.
Mullings, who was in rehab for five months, faced a number of setbacks during her recuperation.
In 2009, a thief stole her prosthetic hands from her car. She also began taking anti-depressants following the amputation.
But she has also endeavoured to regain some independence, preferring to walk on her titanium steel legs than use a wheelchair.
She also applies her own makeup and completes chores around the home. And she has the continued support of her fiance Kahseem Davis.
‘He still hugs me the same and kisses me the same,’ she said. ‘He tells me I’m beautiful.’
‘Tabitha remains a role model for those who have suffered catastrophic physical losses,’ said Rubenstein.