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bbc: £5m for man brain damaged as baby

A man who suffered severe brain damage during a heart operation as a baby has been awarded £5m in damages.
Rafi Shamlian also lost his right leg after being given excessive sedation during treatment at Harefield Hospital in Uxbridge, west London, in 1978.

Rafi, seven months old at the time, had just been brought to Britain by his Armenian family.

A High Court judge approved the award against Hillingdon Primary Care Trust, which admitted liability.

Rafi came to the UK from Iraq when a heart murmur was detected and was admitted to Harefield for a procedure to treat a congenital disease called Fallot’s tetralogy.

His counsel, James Badenoch QC, told the High Court the sedation “all but destroyed his brain”.

Now 25, he is totally dependent on the care of his parents, who live in Glasgow but plan to move to London shortly.

The judge, Mr Justice Astill, commended Dr and Mrs Shamlian “for the way they have cared for their child – and child he still is – over all these very many years”.

Jean Ritchie QC, for the health authority, apologised for the fact that Rafi was not given “the care he should have been given”.

She hoped the award would make life considerably easier for all of them and wished the family well.

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