SL suffered an extremely rare form of blood clot, was admitted to hospital and underwent surgery. SL’s family consulted Stewarts pro bono team to handle potential uncertainties around an insurance claim.


The incident

SL was an inpatient at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital when her family were referred to the Stewarts pro bono team via the Legal Service.

In March 2021, one week after a medical treatment, SL developed a persistent headache. Within twelve days, SL was losing sensation in her right arm and left leg.

After calling 111 and attending an appointment at her GP surgery, SL went to Southmead Hospital for a scan. Whilst there, her condition deteriorated and she was admitted for an assessment.

Medical professionals found that SL had suffered a very rare blood clot in her brain, a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). SL underwent surgery to remove the clot. During a second operation, sensors were inserted into her brain to monitor her condition. SL was placed in a medically-induced coma.


Help from Stewarts

SL’s family reached out to the Legal Service for assistance with an insurance policy. SL had recently bought a property with her partner, but due to her medical condition she was unable to work and her family were concerned that her mortgage would fall into arrears. Upon further investigation, SL’s family learned that she had taken out a critical illness policy when she became a homeowner.

The pro bono team helped SL’s partner and family complete the claim form and gather all necessary medical information in order to make a claim under the policy. The claim was submitted in May 2021.

Due to the uncertainty in her prognosis, the team was concerned that the insurers may delay their decision making. We explained the uncertainty of SL’s future to the insurer, who quickly agreed to fulfil the claim. Within two months of submitting the claim, SL received a pay-out of over £200,000.


SL’s recovery

SL has since made an incredible recovery and the CVST has fully dispersed. Her consultants were astounded by the speed of her recovery and SL looks forward to a healthy future.

SL’s family said of the help we provided: “You and the Stewarts Legal Service have been immense in our darkest hour! We cannot thank you enough”.


This article was written by our Senior Paralegal Grace Horvath-Franco



The Legal Service – We are here to help

The Legal Service, delivered by our pro bono team, provides patients with advice without obligation, for however long it takes to resolve the issue. Our support is available regardless of the circumstances of an accident and regardless of whether a patient has a personal injury claim.

In these difficult times, the concerns of our pro bono clients are likely to be more stark than those in more fortunate circumstances. The Legal Service will be available throughout the crisis to help in any way we can to ease the burden on our clients.

To get advice from The Legal Service, please contact Kara Smith by phone on 020 7822 8000 or by email at

You can find further information regarding our injury expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury pages.



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