LEGAL BATTLE: Matthew Durham, pictured at a junior pennants grand final in 2011, is suing the State Government over treatment he received when he suffered a stroke.
LEGAL BATTLE: Matthew Durham, pictured at a junior pennants grand final in 2011, is suing the State Government over treatment he received when he suffered a stroke. Brett Wortman

Rising golf star sues for $4m over stroke treatment

MATTHEW Durham was a golfing prodigy who was playing off a handicap of two at the age of 17 but at 21 needs help to tie his shoelaces.

The former Sunshine Coast resident is now suing the State Government for $4 million for breaching its duty of care after he was admitted to hospital following a stroke five years ago.

A statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court on his behalf by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers alleges that effects of Mr Durham's stroke could have been reduced by "competent and skilled" treatment at Caloundra and Nambour General hospitals.

The claim says a Caloundra doctor wanted to send Mr Durham to Nambour General Hospital for thrombylosis - treatment to reduce a blood clot - after he suffered a stroke and collapsed while playing at a junior golf tournament on August 27, 2011.

However, a doctor at Nambour General Hospital advised that the teenager was not for thrombylosis and an urgent transfer to the hospital was not required, according to the claim.

The claim says Mr Durham did not arrive at Nambour until six hours after his stroke and did not have a CT scan until the next day, when, after a repeat scan, he was transferred to the Royal Brisbane Hospital for immediate surgery to relieve the pressure on his brain.

The material filed with the court says that a competent and skilled medical practitioner and hospital would have administered thrombylosis within four-and-a-half hours, transferred him to Nambour General urgently, performed a CT scan on the night Mr Durham arrived at Nambour General, and transferred him to the Royal Brisbane following the scan the next morning.

The claims says Mr Durham has been left with a 9% gait impairment, a 45% impairment to his "upper left extremity", and a cognitive impairment.

 

Matthew Durham
Matthew Durham Contributed

It says he would have had good prospects of working in the golf industry as a coach or assistant to a professional and could have expected to earn $1000 a week but instead, he needs help from his mother with meals, personal care, laundry activities and heavier tasks.

The claim says he will need on-going care, physiotherapy and various aids and equipment in the future.

In a statement through his lawyers, Mr Durham said he now needed help with buttons and zippers.

"I cannot do a lot of the things I used to do without help.... It makes me feel angry because I cannot do these things without help."


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