By Jan Moir, 4th February 2011:
Back in the summer of 2003, life was good for businesswoman Penny Johnson.
As the director of a Croydon-based international business, she had contracts with technology giant IBM, accountants Deloitte and various banks across the Middle East.
For reasons known only to herself, reasons that a lot of forty-something women would perhaps recognise and understand, Johnson was unhappy with her looks and the way she was ageing.
Most of us shrug, put the wrinkles down to good living and get on with it, God — and baby bottom butter — willing. Not Mrs Johnson.
She is one of the 5,000 or so British women per year who elect to have facial cosmetic surgery. And in August 2003, at the age of 41, she duly booked into a Leeds clinic for a partial facelift.
By all accounts, the procedure seems to have been a disaster. Instead of a lovely, new look, Mrs Johnson was left with the same old face, only with the unwelcome addition of a terrible new twitch.
According to her lawyers, she now endures ‘uncontrollable facial movement, pain around the right eye and grimacing’ as a result of the ‘experimental’ cosmetic procedure.
This will probably continue for the rest of her life. They also claim that she has been too traumatised over the past seven years to act, but has now pulled herself together to sue plastic surgeon Dr Le Roux Fourie for more than £54 million in compensation.
£54 million? It is hard not to snort. It is particularly hard for Mrs Johnson not to snort, given the mess the surgeon made of her face. Yet despite her suffering, this is the point where my sympathy for her plight starts to shrivel like a skewer of dried-up shrews on the great barbecue of life.
£54 million? It is a ginormous amount of personal injury compensation to attempt to claim, sickening enough in the current economic climate, but worse when you consider it is enough to build a small hospital or a school.
Or put it to good use helping, for example, to provide care for soldiers who have lost limbs and been horribly maimed serving this country in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read more>>