Failure to spot tumour left patient paralysed

  • January 4, 2019
  • Delays in tests and scans left Robert paralysed after a cancer tumour was found to be pressing on his spine – he came to Ally Taft at Medical Accident Group for help, and has been awarded £425,000 to compensate him for his injuries and to pay for his future care.

    Ally said: “Robert was fit and active – now he’s nursed at home by his elderly wife and has carers who come in four times a day. He’s bed-bound and catheterised – if his difficulties had been acted upon sooner, he might still have been able to walk at least.”

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    Robert’s spinal tumour was thought to be a secondary tumour, the type which results from the primary cancer being left untreated – his primary cancer was in his prostate. He had been to his GP surgery for a health check and reported some symptoms which could have been linked to prostate cancer, but these were not followed up.

    Nearly two years later, he started to suffer very bad back pain and after four visits, was referred to Park Hospital, part of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – he was due to have an X-ray and a CT or MRI scan. He could still walk, but was weak.

    No scan took place and Robert lost all movement in his legs.

    When a scan was finally taken, it showed the tumour pressing on the spinal cord. Surgeons could not operate and he had radiotherapy at the Christie Hospital, Manchester, and now receives palliative care.

    Ally said: “It’s quite clear that if he had had the right treatment, he would still be independent and he would still have control over his bladder and bowel. The experts agree that scans and investigations would have revealed the tumour much earlier, before he lost the use of his legs.

    “Robert may be elderly, but he went from being healthy and active to being bed-bound and entirely dependent on others, because of delays and mistakes. Prostate cancer is very common in older men, and regular check-ups can spot it early so that it can be treated. If that had happened for Robert, and if the hospital had acted quickly to scan him, this life-changing event could have been avoided.”

    If you have suffered because of medical mistakes or delays in treatment, especially when suffering from cancer, we can help you. Call us on 0800 050 1668.

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