When medical professionals make a mistake or are negligent in care, the consequences can impact a patient for the rest of his or her life. In some instances, patients can no longer take care of themselves and instead must rely on a loved one or medical professional for their everyday needs.

A former kitchen designer and Vietnam vet suffered painful and damaging bedsores after being admitted to a hospital for brain dysfunction. He filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital and was recently awarded a multi-million dollar settlement. Though the man was grateful for the verdict, he stated that he would rather have the use of his legs back.

In the fall of 2006, the man was brought to the hospital for a brain condition. Though he had a number of other medical conditions that included diabetes and high cholesterol, he was admitted without any marks on his skin. But while he was in the hospital, he developed a number of severe bedsores on his lower back.

Over time, the bedsores went unnoticed by hospital personnel and got progressively worse, spreading to other areas of his body. Had someone properly treated the bedsores, the worsened condition could have been prevented.

The man alleges that the bedsores led to a hip infection, eventually resulting in his hip dislocating. But because of the infection, a hip replacement is not an option and the man relies on a wheelchair to get around.

The biggest frustration is likely that had the bedsores been properly treated, the man may still have use of his legs. But instead he can no longer do the things he loves: boating, traveling, and simply taking a walk down the street.

Source: SLive.com, “$5.4M medical malpractice award for Staten Island man,” Frank Donnelly, 13 June 2011