£5m bid to sue NHS after mum comes back from dead

Lorna Baillie was incorrectly pronounced dead at the ERI and had her life-support machines switched off. Picture: Jon Savage
Lorna Baillie was incorrectly pronounced dead at the ERI and had her life-support machines switched off. Picture: Jon Savage
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THE family of a woman who apparently came back from the dead is suing the NHS in what could be one of Scotland’s largest compensation cases.

Lorna Baillie could expect a settlement of £5 million, according to specialist injury lawyers, after doctors ceased treatment having wrongly pronounced her as deceased.

Medics who treated Mrs Baillie, from Prestonpans, after she suffered a heart attack in 2011 switched off her life-support machines when she was ruled technically dead.

It was only when her family intervened and convinced doctors that she was still breathing some 45 minutes later that treatment immediately restarted.

Left brain damaged, Mrs Baillie, 51, has had to relearn how to perform basic tasks such as walking and talking. She is likely to need round-the-clock care for the rest of her life.

Her family says she has been left in a childlike state and has only recently learned to dress and feed herself.

Now, her family has launched a compensation claim in Mrs Baillie’s name.

Her eldest daughter, Leanne, 33, said: “She will need constant two-on-one care for the rest of her life. That’s why we are suing. As far as I’m concerned the health service has a duty of care to our mum – and that failed.

“She is simply not the women she was before this happened. It’s heartbreaking.

“She doesn’t really know who we are. She doesn’t remember that we are her daughters. She knows my name now, but to her I’m just someone called Leanne that she kind of knows.”

Mrs Baillie collapsed at her home in February 2012, and was taken to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Her family was left devastated just three hours later when doctors said she was “technically dead” and turned off her life support.

But while paying their last respects in a private room, family members were convinced they saw signs of life and appealed to nursing staff who explained these were after-effects of treatment.

However, 45 minutes after she was pronounced dead, medics accepted she was still breathing and took her back into intensive care.

Peter Todd, a London-based lawyer who specialises in brain and spinal cord injuries, said that if the family was successful it could expect a minimum of £5m in compensation, which would include around £250,000 a year to pay for care.

But he also said it was not necessarily a clear-cut case.