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The parents of a teenager who accidentally strangled himself with a curtain cord while staying in hospital have been awarded £240,000 in compensation.

The couple decided to contact personal injury solicitors and make a medical negligence claim after their son, who was ten years old when the near fatal accident occurred in 2002, was left unsupervised prior to an operation to remove a cyst from his brain.

Staff at Sheffield's Children's Hospital were required to supervise the youngster because of his disabilities which include a congenital condition that left him unable to talk, limited body movements and mild epileptic seizures.

However, despite the need for constant supervision the boy was left in a separate cubicle out of sight of the nursing station and, as a result of such neglect, was accidentally strangled by a curtain cord.

Fortunately, a 12-year-old girl at the hospital found him before it was too late, but the boy was left with severe brain damage and will need 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

The boy's father said, "He would have always needed care but not to the degree that he does now. The extra amount of brain damage has made a big different to the problems he already had."

Following the successful medical negligence claim, the teenager's mother added, "We're so relieved we now have this settlement. [Our son's] condition has ruled our lives for the last four-and-a-half years.

"We had thought nothing could get any worse than his condition before the accident but we were wrong."
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