A woman who nearly died after being treated for deep vein thrombosis at a Midland hospital has been awarded more than #100,000 a year for the rest of her life.
Heather Payne is now confined to a wheelchair after she suffered a heart attack when her brain was starved of oxygen at Stafford General Hospital in June 2001.
Mrs Payne, aged 59, had complained of a pain in her leg 48-hours after flying home after a holiday in Spain with her husband, Ron.
Worried it could be a deep vein thrombosis, Mrs Payne (pictured with husband Ron) went to the hospital's A&E department where doctors agreed she had a clot in her leg.
After three attempts a " filter" - to prevent the clot from drifting towards her heart, lung and brain - was fitted in her neck, which led to a number of complications.
Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she suffered a heart attack and respiratory failure. It took medics 20 minutes to revive her, during which time her brain was starved of oxygen.
Scans later confirmed Mrs Payne had suffered massive brain damage and was left in a coma-like state.
Mr Payne, a retired Job-Centre manager, said: "We were then told the most humane thing to do would be to withdraw medication to allow death to come. The family agreed to allow that to happen, a chaplain came to anoint her and we just waited for the end."
Just two days after this "goodbye service" Mrs Payne began her long fight back, and began to squeeze her husband's hand.
Day by day her condition improved and in September 2001, she was transferred from Stafford General to Cannock Chase Hospital, where her progress continued.
But six months later, the couple were forced to seek help elsewhere when Cannock Chase Hospital claimed there was nothing else they could do for Mrs Payne.
Despite her bravery, she still required round-the-clock care.
It was Mrs Payne's sister Jeanette, who lives in Bellingham, Northumberland, who came to her aid.
"She had got talking to a friend, who happens to be head of head injuries at a hospital in Northumberland, where she lives, about Heather's situation," said Mr Payne.
"He was shocked at how she had been treated and said he wished she lived in his catchment area.
"When the cottage next door to Jeanette's came on the market, it seemed too good to be true but we decided to go for it. Now she's receiving all the treatment she needs."
He added: "This pay-out will enable us to forget the pain of the past four years and to get on with living our lives, and we want to enjoy every minute."
On Monday judges at Newcastle's High Court ruled that Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust - which runs both hospitals - should pay Mrs Payne #113,000 a year for the rest of her life.
The trust was also ordered to pay out a substantial lump sum as part of the settlement.
Jonathan Peacock, a partner with Birmingham-based law firm Irwin Mitchell, represented Mrs Payne.
He said: "The health trust has admitted liability and we are delighted that the court has ratified the decision to award a substantial sum to Heather. She has fought so hard to get this far and put her life back together."
Last night a spokesman for the trust said: "The trust is pleased to note that Mrs Payne's claim has now been resolved. In addition to placing on record their regret at the circumstances which gave rise to Mrs Payne's injuries in 2001, the trust would like to wish both Mrs Payne and her family all the very best for the future."