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Leysa Jane Hardy was involved in an atrocious road traffic accident that left her with serious injuries and a pulverised tibia. This previously active lady who loved her job as a postwoman and enjoyed horse riding tried hard to save her leg, but after several lengthy operations bone infection set in.
Leysa was faced with the stark choice of keeping her limb and face the possibility that any future bone infection could kill her or elect to have a below the knee amputation. Keen to retain her mobility, Leysa chose amputation.
Leysa turned to Shoosmiths for advice about compensation and rehabilitation. Quite apart from the litigation itself, helping to restore a client’s quality of life is a priority for the team at Shoosmiths.
Given the severity of Leysa’s injuries, senior associate Paul Ashurst, who handled the case, immediately contacted the other party’s insures to invoke the Rehabilitation Code for more serious injuries. The Code encourages co-operation in order to provide rehabilitation and support at an early stage, rather a client having to wait until the end of the litigation to get the help they need.
Paul’s immediate plan was to support Leysa in her efforts to save her leg, but when it became evident that amputation was the only option, it then became a case of sourcing the most appropriate prosthesis for her needs. Under the NHS there were options, but with the best will in the world, NHS provision is seldom the very best so we referred Leysa to The London Prosthetic Centre (LPC) which specialises in state-of-the-art prosthetics.
Although happy with her prosthetic limb, Leysa was still uncomfortable using it in public, saying that, for the first time ever as an adult she felt ‘out of place’. Paul’s response was to once again approach LPC to make a cosmesis – a lifelike silicone cover or sleeve that matched Leysa’s specific skin colour and texture with freckles, veins and hairs to produce a finish that is indistinguishable from the real thing.
The difference this cosmesis cover has made to Leysa is enormous, giving her a confidence boost that enables her to be active and socialise. Indeed she is so happy with the result that she requested a flamboyant equine tattoo on the calf, which was hand-painted by the same skilled craftspeople at LPC’s Kingston upon Thames clinic.
Leysa is delighted with the support she’s received throughout from Shoosmiths and the London Prosthetic Centre and although her claim eventually settled for £1.9 million that was not the end of the support provided by the firm. For himself as a litigator, Paul may well have dropped into the background, but what he describes as our ‘after claim service’ continues:
‘During the process of the claim, case management, rehab and medical support is normal, but we never leave clients with a large sum of money to manage all alone. We do introduce financial advisers and other forms of help through colleagues in our parent firm Shoosmiths. We will be staying with Leysa for years to come and be there for as long as she needs us. Her involvement with the London Prosthetic Centre will also be ongoing as her limb and cosmesis require maintenance and replacement during their lifetime.’