Doctors didn't spot the tumour - then a rabbi intervened


A family has been awarded compensation after their teenage daughter suffered a three-year ordeal because doctors failed to spot a brain tumour.

Talia Angel, 17, was taken to the Portland hospital in central London in 2004 by her parents because they thought getting private treatment would get her "the best and quickest" care possible".

But they were devastated to discover that the hospital failed to spot a tumour when analysing an MRI scan and she was left unable to move her eye properly and suffers from a cosmetic deformity as a result.

It was finally diagnosed in 2007, when a second scan revealed the need for surgery.

Doctors found that the tumour had been present on the earlier scan, despite a report at the time suggesting there was "no abnormality".

The Emanuel pupil has had two operations and has undergone Botox injections to help with the positioning of her eye.

Her parents say she still struggles with her peripheral vision and needs to move her head to read words across the page. The school has granted her extra time for exams.

Parents Simmone and Barry Angel, who attend South Hampstead shul, took legal action against the doctor and agreed an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with insurers. Liability was not formally admitted.

Mr Angel, a property developer for Albany Homes in Highgate, said: "Our biggest disappointment is we never got so much as an apology from Portland hospital.

"We went private for her care because we wanted the best and quickest possible and it turned out the opposite.

"She has been so strong and brave through the whole thing but it wasn't easy for the family. We were devastated."

Talia's operation was performed at Great Ormond Street hospital after a rabbi in Israel recommended a surgeon there.

Mr Angel said: "We were told by a friend about a Rabbi called Avraham Elimelech Firer who set up Ezra LeMarpeh, a non-profit organisation that provides medical assistance to those who need it.

"We went to Israel to meet him and he told us about a doctor in the US who actually recommended the surgeon at Great Ormond Street who saw Talia. She was treated in the Richard Desmond wing and Mr Desmond came to visit her when she was recovering."

Mrs Angel, a soprano singer, said her daughter now has a bright future thanks to the NHS treatment, although she will need regular testing.

"The future is good for her, although had it been spotted earlier, then the outcome would have been much

"But her life will hopefully be normal. Talia endured more years of pain and suffering than she really had to go through.

"Having a brain tumour at her age was terrifying."

The family's solicitor Kelly Morris, of Irwin Mitchell, said: "Talia has been through so much from such a young age.

"Although liability was
never admitted or denied we managed to secure a settlement for Talia, which will hopefully allow her to live as normal a life as possible in the future."

The Portland Hospital declined to comment.

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