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Man Left Partially Sighted After Surgeon Removes Healthy Parts of His Brain

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A man is fighting for compensation and a formal investigation conducted by the General medical Council (GMC) after a mistake by a surgeon left him with parts of the brain removed unnecessarily.

John Tunney, formally a paramedic for the West Midlands ambulance service, was admitted for surgery after a 2008 biopsy showed a tumour within the pituitary gland. However, during surgery Mr Tunney haemorrhaged and was left with life long brain damage after unnecessary brain surgery was undertaken.

Instead of removing tissue from the tumour, the surgeon, from Coventry’s Walsgrave hospital, removed brain tissue that was healthy leaving Mr Tunney with only partial sight and requiring constant care.

Mr Tunney,s solicitor of Irwin Mitchell, said that the mistake was “appalling” before adding that the tumour was in fact benign and so the surgery itself needn’t have been carried out at all.

“”The fact that the surgeon managed to remove perfectly healthy tissue rather than a sample of the tumour tissue is, in itself, an appalling error. To then find that the procedure was totally unnecessary because clinicians had failed to review a blood test really does add insult to injury.”

Having apologised to Mr Tunney, chief medical officer for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust added, “Since 2008, this case has been thoroughly reviewed through our governance process and I am confident that measures have been put in place to prevent this type of incident reoccurring.”

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