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Phil Collins' paralyzed ex-wife files legal suit

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Orianne Collins in happier times — before the operation that went awry. Photo: AFP
22:05 CET+01:00
The Swiss former wife of British rock star Phil Collins has filed a criminal complaint after a cervical hernia operation performed by a hospital in Switzerland left her paralyzed.

Orianne Collins, who now needs a wheelchair to get around, is currently in a private rehabilitation clinic after complications from the December 16th operation, Le Matin newspaper reported on Thursday.

“After the intervention I woke up paralyzed,” she told the newspaper in an interview.

The 42-year-old said she “no longer had any feeling from the top of the body to the bottom of the feet.”

Collins, who had two children with the former musician from Genesis, divorced him in 2008, remarried and later moved to Miami, Florida.

After suffering persistent pain in her right shoulder and neck she decided to leave the US to seek medical treatment in Switzerland.

“I preferred to return to Switzerland for the quality of care,” she told Le Matin.

She was assured that the operation at the hospital, not identified, would be routine and that she would be able to return home after three days.

But the procedure did not go as planned and her spinal cord was damaged.

Collins was told that there was a one in 10,000 chance of what she suffered.

“There was no medical error but it’s a complication,” the doctor who operated on Collins told Le Matin of her condition.

Collins filed a legal complaint “to know what really happened and to determine if someone was responsible,” her lawyer Lionel Zeiter told the ATS news agency.

His client, a native of the canton of Vaud, became known in Switzerland for starting a jewellery business and for co-founding the Little Dreams Foundation with Phil Collins, who retains a residence in the canton of Vaud.

The foundation aims to provide financial help to children with a gift for music and sports.

The couple married in 1999 and bought motor racing legend Jackie Stewart’s former home in the village of Begnins in the canton of Vaud before separating in 2006. 

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