Mom who was left unable to orgasm after medical error receives huge compensation
Most people would agree that an orgasm is one of the best feelings in the world. A life without the Big O would seem like a pretty shabby one. But how much would someone have to pay you to never experience another? Would nearly $2 million be enough money? Personally, I think that most people would still feel pretty short-changed, even if they did end up in a mansion because of it. That's probably exactly how Ginny Atchison felt, after medical negligence left her orgasmically impotent for the rest of her life.
The 45-year-old's case of cauda equina syndrome was tragically misdiagnosed by doctors, and thus she lost her ability to experience an orgasm. Cauda equina syndrome is a spinal condition in which nerves at the base of the spinal cord are squeezed together, which causes intense pain, as well as numbness in the back, legs, backside, legs and groin. It can also affect mobility and bladder control, as well as one's sexual functions.
Ginny first noticed that she was experiencing back pain in 2008, but did not visit a hospital for it until 2010. When she did so, doctors told her that it was probably the result of a slipped disc, and thus she was not given an MRI scan. However, the pain steadily worsened, until Ginny was forced to visit a physiotherapist. When she told them that she was finding it difficult to urinate, that's when things got serious.
Ginny's physiotherapist referred her to an orthopaedic triage at her local hospital and she finally got a scan in 2011. This showed that she did indeed have a slipped disc, but that it was pressing down on her nerves. At one point Ginny hadn't passed water in over 24 hours and was in agony. She was rushed to surgery after the doctor's used a catheter to drain her swollen bladder. After she woke up, her life had changed forever. She never had another orgasm again. The year-long delay in her diagnoses had caused irreversible damage. Today she still struggles to walk long distances and has been left with a permanent catheter.
In a recent interview, she stated: "I was always a very sexual person. I enjoyed being intimate, having sex at least a few times a week when I was in a relationship. I’d being having sex regularly since I was 16. ‘But I didn’t realise how important that was to me until it was gone ... You never think you will stop having sex in your 40s. It was always important to me and, although I am now single, I really miss that intimacy."
She added: "I struggled a lot, because loss of orgasm is a terrible thing. My relationship with my partner at the time, who I don’t want to name, came to an end. We are still best friends, but after the injury we couldn’t be intimate and the romantic part of our relationship was over ... I was told to go to a sex shop and try and buy vibrators to improve things, but no matter what I tried, I couldn’t feel a thing. My nerves are damaged and that’s not going to come back. It was such an awful time and I just had to accept that my sexual feeling had gone."
Ginny has since pursued legal action against Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and, after a long appeal process, was granted the sum of £1.5 million (nearly $2 million). She plans to use the money to redesign her house in order to accommodate her disability. But sadly, her victory in court has been bittersweet; Ginny knows that the door to the world of sexual pleasure has been suddenly shut in her face, and for now, there's nothing that can be done about it.