A Leicestershire teacher has received compensation with the support of Thompsons Solicitors after a nerve in her mouth was permanently damaged in surgery.

Katherine Howard, 34, was having four wisdom teeth extracted under general anaesthetic in October 2009 when her lingual nerve, which controls taste and touch near her tongue, was damaged.

Two days later she visited hospital with pain and swelling in the left side of her neck, as well as numbness in her mouth. She was referred to the maxillofacial department, but was told that the symptoms would ease and was discharged.

“Katherine has been left in near constant discomfort as a result of a surgical error."

Sophia Huynh of Thompsons Solicitors

The numbness in her tongue persisted and, in February 2010, a medical review found that it would take up to 18 months for the symptoms to subside. Two years later, she was readmitted to hospital for surgery to repair the nerve. Following the surgery, there was no improvement and she has since been told that the numbness and disturbance to her taste is permanent.

Katherine struggles to eat with the left side of her mouth and sometimes suffers from pins and needles.

She instructed Thompsons Solicitors to make a compensation claim.

Katherine said: “When I first complained about the pain and swelling I felt like my concerns were being ignored. I was told to wait it out and it would improve. This obviously wasn’t the case and I’ve had to get used to the fact that I will have issues eating and drinking for the rest of my life.

“I’m very grateful for the support Thompsons provided me. Without them, I have no idea how I would have even started a compensation claim.”

Sophia Huynh, of Thompsons Solicitors, said: “Katherine has been left in near constant discomfort as a result of a surgical error. She turned to our specialist medical negligence team to investigate who was at fault and ensure she received the maximum possible compensation for injuries that will affect her for the rest of her life.”