Support from friends and family
Our client Mrs R can no longer control her bowel or bladder movements and finds it extremely difficult to leave her home, after a simple surgical procedure went horribly wrong.
In March 2013, Mrs R was admitted to hospital for a straightforward operation to remove a cyst from her right ovary, which was causing her abdominal pain. However, during the procedure the surgeon caused several punctures to both her bowel and bladder. As a result of the mishap, two other surgeons had to be brought in to the operating theatre to repair the damage, leaving Mrs R under anaesthetic for several hours.
Two days later, brown fluid began leaking from her bowel and Mrs R was rushed back into surgery where it was discovered that there was another hole that all three surgeons had missed. As a result of the damage caused by the surgeon, Mrs R had to be fitted with a stoma bag and a catheter to drain her bowel and bladder. She also had to receive treatment for a surgical wound that wasn’t healing properly.
Unfortunately, her recovery was slow and distressing and it turned out that the stoma was not fitted correctly, causing it to retract from Mrs R’s body and faeces to leak and burn her skin. The faeces also seeped into her open surgical wound, which caused excruciating pain and made changing the bag extremely uncomfortable. Her catheter was also extremely sore and often caused ‘bladder spasms’, which would occur when it became blocked.
Due to these complications, the catheter was removed in January 2014, and the stoma was eventually reversed nine months later. However, she still suffers from uncontrollable bowel movements and flatulence, which makes it extremely difficult and embarrassing to leave the house. The 20cm surgical wound on her stomach has also failed to heal, requiring dressing and cleaning on a daily basis.
The whole experience has been extremely upsetting and has been very difficult to deal with. I wasn’t particularly keen on having the surgery in the first place, so the fact that my entire life has been turned upside down because of the mistakes that were made has just really added to stress. The pain I had to endure was indescribable and there were times when I felt so poorly that I wasn’t sure how much longer I had left. I must say that the final surgeon who reversed my stoma was incredible and I am very grateful that he was able to repair some of the damage that was caused.Mrs R
After realising that errors had been made with her care, Mrs R contacted Fletchers to bring a claim against the hospital trust in question to ensure this would not happen again.
We investigated Mrs R’s claim and in May 2015, hospital trust made admissions. Mrs R’s case settled for £70,000 in compensation in February 2017, following a long period of negotiations.
Following all the surgery errors Mrs R felt depressed and like the jest for life had been drained out of her. “My life was completely falling apart and there was nothing I could do about it. Going out in public was extremely embarrassing, and at times I just wanted to hide away and not leave the house. I am in a lot of pain, and with the problems with my bowels and bladder, I am constantly worrying where the nearest toilet is and whether I’ll make it there in time. “
Mrs R was thankfully supported throughout recovery by her friends and family, “I am very lucky that I’ve had the amazing support from my friends, family and Fletchers to help get me through this – my husband has been my rock and I don’t know what I’d have done if I didn’t have him by my side.”
We really hope that the compensation she received can go some way towards helping her get back on track and return to her happy, bubbly self.Sally Fromont
Sally Fromont, a senior solicitor at Fletchers Solicitors, said: “Mrs R has been through a terrible ordeal and it has had a huge impact on her psychologically. When mistakes like this occur, it can have catastrophic consequences on the rest of the victim’s life, as well as affect their loved ones. Mrs R has experienced a lot of difficulties coming to terms with what has happened, but it’s great to see that she is regaining some of her confidence and is trying to enjoy life as much as she can.
Sally Fromont - Case Solicitor
Key case timeline
During a straightforward procedure to remove a cyst from her right over, the surgeon caused several punctures to Mrs R’s bowel and bladder. She awoke from the surgery in unbearable pain before being rushed back to theatre where it was discovered there was another hole all three surgeons has missed. As a result of the damage caused, Mrs R had to be fitted with a stoma bag and catheter to drain her bowel and bladder. Her recovery was slow and distressing.
Mrs R’s case was settled for £70,000
The trust admitted that the surgeon performing the original operation failed to assess Mrs R’s medical history properly, as she had previously undergone a clam cystoplasty. He also failed to take into account that her weight meant she was unsuitable for the surgery he had recommended. It was also admitted that given our client’s previous clam cystoplasty, the surgeon should have consulted a General Surgeon and Urologist to consider her altered anatomy. If this was carried out, it’s likely that a different procedure would have been recommended.
Mrs R is now positive for the future and can feel her old self returning. “I’m not going to lock myself away anymore or let it prevent me from enjoying my life. I think this is extremely important for people in similar situations to me who are embarrassed about going out in public – you can’t let things like this stop you. More awareness and support is needed to help show people that you have nothing to be embarrassed about and you should go out and do all the things you want to do.“