'We miss him every day' – Family's damages payout for Kaylen, 8
The family of a Suffolk boy who died of a brain tumour at just eight years old have received a damages payout from a hospital trust.
Dad Derek O’Connor, from Ipswich, has spoken of the turmoil they endured after son Kaylen went blind, developed diabetes and had a personality change following an eight-and-a-half hour operation.
Recently, the family received a six-figure damages payment on behalf of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to reflect injuries Kaylen suffered.
However, the trust did not formally admit liability, the family’s lawyers said.
Mr O’Connor said: “It was never about the money, my boy isn’t here now, and that’s what hurts.
“He was my youngest son. We miss him every day.”
Then just five years old, Kaylen was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in February 2012.
Doctors had diagnosed him with a brain tumour after he started having violent headaches.
Just two days later he was in theatre where medics attempted to remove it.
However, it was after the operation that dad Derek noticed a difference in his son.
“When he came out, he was totally blind,” he said.
“My son’s personality had completely changed.
“He started to become aggressive, and would sometimes attack me.
“After the operation the life he had was no life at all.
“He was a bright little boy, he had a bright future ahead of him.”
Kaylen, a former Whitton Community Primary School pupil, died in 2015 after the tumour spread to another part of his brain.
Pursuing legal action after his death, it was the family’s case that it had been negligent to proceed straight to surgery.
They felt Kaylen should have had chemotherapy instead, and that the alleged complications would have been avoided without surgery.
Represented by clinical negligence lawyer Elizabeth Smith, the family also alleged the complications caused his eventual death.
According to the family’s lawyers, the trust did admit they should have treated the build up of fluid in his brain, which caused his visual problems, but said a decision would have been made to carry out the surgery in any case.
The value of the family’s claim was investigated, they said, and a damages payment was issued – to reflect Kaylen’s injuries, and care provided by his relatives.
Ms Smith added: “This was an extremely sad case.
“No amount of money can ever compensate a family for the loss of a child.”
A Cambridge University Hospitals spokesman said: “We can confirm that this case has been subject to a legal settlement.
“This has been a deeply distressing case for all involved and we are very sorry for the family’s loss.”
The case comes after this newspaper revealed the £70m compensation bill paid out by the NHS in our region.