Cancer will touch most of our lives in some shape or form at some point. For Richard Peat, it was in early 2010. Tragically, it would be another 20 months before he was properly treated for it, at which time the damage had already been done. This case just serves to highlight the awful dangers that medical negligence represents.
Richard first started experiencing problems with his right eye in 2010 so he visited his optician. However, following an examination, the optician found nothing wrong with his sight.
The problems reoccurred later that year, this time accompanied by co-ordination difficulties. He also had trouble adjusting to different levels of light. This time he visited his GP and was referred to the neurology department at Worthing Hospital where he had an MRI scan. This proved that it wasn’t Richard’s eyesight that was the problem – it revealed evidence of a mass in his sinuses.
Richard was subsequently referred to the ENT Department at the hospital the following month. He had another CT scan and was told a month later that he had a tumour in his right maxilla (this is one of the bones in your skull that supports the upper teeth and forms part of the eye sockets, hard palate and nasal cavity). You’d think immediate action would be taken in a situation like that. It wasn’t.
By the next month, Richard’s face had started to swell dramatically and his vision was now deteriorating just as quickly. Eventually he was referred for a biopsy in mid 2011 which was put back further when the first attempts were finally made to remove the mass from Richard’s sinus. This proved unsuccessful.
Finally, several months later, Richard was referred to the Royal Marsden Hospital for major surgery. His treating surgeon was shocked to find that the tumour had been allowed to grow to its present size. Surgery took place in late 2011 and involved the removal of his right eye, his maxilla and the anterior skull base. After a highly complicated surgery like this, Richard spent quite a while in rehabilitation, undergoing radio and chemotherapy treatments.
We can’t understate the significance of this enough – Richard effectively lost half his face in the surgery. It has been utterly devastating for him, the consequences he will have to live with on a daily basis.