Cassie has been left with nerve damage on her left side after seeking help for a lump on her forehead – her dermatologist didn’t tell her it needed treatment and didn’t even invite her back for a followup appointment. Ally Taft took up her case and secured £250,000 compensation for her.
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Cassie had been to her GP, concerned about a lump on her forehead, but was told that it was cosmetic and so would not be dealt with by the NHS. She went to see a private dermatologist, who removed the lump as far as possible and sent it off for analysis, telling her that if she heard nothing further, it meant there was nothing to worry about.
Cassie, then in her late teens, heard nothing, although the lump was found to be suspicious and full removal of the whole area was recommended. When another lump appeared in the same place, she saw the dermatologist again. Even then, he didn’t give her the earlier results, and failed to follow up quickly; he attempted to remove the new lump himself, rather than referring her to a plastic surgeon.
Surgery causes further problems
Again, complete removal was advised. A year after the first lump appeared, Cassie finally had the new lump removed and also had checks for melanoma, which was found in her lymph nodes. The resulting surgery left her with weakness in her left arm and shoulder, facial tremors and limited movement on her left side.
Ally said: “Cassie was only a teenager at the time – she was in the middle of taking her A Levels, and this was shattering. If she had had the first lump removed properly when the results were known, it’s very likely that she wouldn’t have needed any further treatment. That might also have been the case, when she came back with the second lump, if action had been taken immediately then.
“The delays, which led to the surgery, have affected her life considerably – it is not at all clear that she will recover from her difficulties.”