Disabled dad awarded $1m for botched operation

A YOUNG Tweed dad, who was left with permanent disabilities following a routine surgery at a Gold Coast hospital, has been awarded more than $1 million in damages.

Aaron Peters was still a teenager when a mistake made during the removal of a hernia from his groin turned a budding IT genius into a heavily medicated, bed-ridden wreck.

Now 27, and married with a healthy baby boy, Aaron has successfully sued John Flynn private hospital surgeon, Dr Laurent Layani, over the botched operation that robbed him of his youth and almost cost him his life.

The NSW Supreme Court heard that by the time Aaron was 16, he had already started his own computer business and was granted early entry to the Australian College of Information Technology.

During a shift at Woolworths in August, 2003, a sudden "stabbing sensation" sent him home from work.

When a "large bubble-like mass" formed in his groin area, doctors told Aaron he would need immediate surgery.

The stapling of internal mesh around the genitofemoral and ilioinguinal nerves, a procedure which two expert surgeons told the court should not have taken place during hernia repair, caused the nerves to become "trapped".

When he woke up he was in so much pain, the slightest movement set off "sharp pains like electric shocks", and a tingling sensation was invading his right thigh.

Part of his right leg couldn't function and he has never walked normally since.

Three months after the operation, Aaron attempted to take his own life and was referred to a psychiatrist.

In the years that followed, he tried countless drugs to control the symptoms which to this day include "chronic, severe stabbing hyperaesthetic pain...from the right side of his scrotum and testicle...radiating down into his right thigh" and issues linked to sexual function and bladder control.

In 2006, a doctor told him the nerves could be removed but as complications could have prevented Aaron from ever producing children, he chose to live with the pain.

Last year, he fathered much-loved son Ari, who turned one last month, but ongoing pain and restricted movement will prevent him from ever being able to run after him "pick him up, ride a bike or coach his soccer team".

Justice Davies took into account Aaron's past and future economic lost and need for domestic assistance.

He said he was confident that, but for his injuries, Aaron would have pursued a career in the IT industry where his gross earnings per annum would have been more than $100,000.

He also noted that the case being brought against Dr Layani had gone undefended.

Aaron was awarded a total of $1,105,705.



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