Husband donates £37,500 compensation to charities in India and Nicaragua
Following the recent settlement of his medical negligence claim, Liam O’Hare has donated his compensation award to three charities in India and Nicaragua in memory of his late wife, Jane Oram. Jane died in July 2012, aged 64, at Stoke Mandeville Hospital where she was a long-term patient in the spinal injuries unit.
Paralysed from the neck down following a heart attack and brain haemorrhage, she had full mental capacity but was dependent on a ventilator. She died after suffering a heart attack and lack of oxygen after she was discovered disconnected from her ventilator. Read more about Jane’s story here
Like her husband Liam, Jane was a Maths teacher. Throughout her teaching career, she had worked and volunteered in various countries around the world, including Peru where she taught from 1976 to 1981.
“Jane and I were both keen travellers and volunteers – both before and after our retirement – and we supported a number of charities” says Liam. “She was such a positive person with a zest for life. No amount of money could make up for her death, so it seemed fitting that any compensation we managed to get should go towards making a positive contribution towards projects that were close to Jane’s heart.”
Support for education in communities in need
As professional educators, Jane and Liam supported and volunteered for charities that help advance education for families and communities in need. Liam has distributed the compensation award as follows:
- £21,500 to IDEAS (International Development through Education, Arts & Sport) in Kerala, India
- £10K to San Francisco Libre – a small rural town in Nicaragua, where Jane had previously volunteered
- £6K to La Esperanza Granada – a volunteering group in Nicaragua focusing on children’s education
“We both supported IDEAS through regular monthly donations as well as giving to one-off projects such as digging a well. After Jane’s death, £10,000 was donated to the charity from a combination of donations in lieu of funeral flowers and a legacy in Jane’s will. This has provided funds for various projects, including setting up a tea shop in the village – Jane’s Tea Shop – in her memory.”
Lost data meant questions remain unanswered
“When Jane died” says Liam, “there were so many unanswered questions about the circumstances. My objective in bringing a claim against the hospital was always to find out what had happened. Unfortunately, because data was lost, we will never found out exactly what took place in the hours before her heart attack.”
A settlement doesn’t mean closure
Mark Guy acted for Mr O’Hare in the case: “As medical negligence solicitors, our efforts are focused on helping families get to the truth. On rare occasions unfortunately, questions remain unanswered. However, because Mr O’Hare took the decision to make a claim, this tragic situation has given rise to some positive outcomes.
“Whilst Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust didn’t formally admit liability for Jane Oram’s death – neither did they put forward an alternative explanation – they did recognise that there had been failings in Jane’s care. In the light of this, they held an internal inquiry following which they have made improvements in the education and training of staff using ventilation equipment, strengthened observation practice for ventilated patients and made changes to record-keeping procedures. They also agreed a settlement of £37, 500 which Mr O’Hare has so generously dedicated to his wife’s memory.”
If you have concerns about your hospital treatment or the way your loved one has been treated, please speak to us about whether you may have a medical negligence claim. Call in confidence on 0800 321 3112 or click here to make an enquiry