Error at Queen Alexandra Hospital hampers woman’s chances of having children

HEARTBREAK  Katie Pack and her mum Julie Cains'''''''      Picture: Allan Hutchings (150205-995)
HEARTBREAK Katie Pack and her mum Julie Cains''''''' Picture: Allan Hutchings (150205-995)
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A YOUNG woman’s dreams of having children may never come true after hospital doctors failed to diagnose a condition in time.

Nanny Katie Pack loves children and has always wanted to start her own family.

But doctors at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth failed to spot appendicitis quick enough, which led to her appendix bursting, when she was 19.

This may have caused damage to Katie’s fallopian tube and ovary, meaning she might struggle to conceive children naturally.

Now Katie has been paid a five-figure sum for the pain and distress caused, as well as payment towards future courses of IVF.

The 23-year-old, of Boldens Road, Gosport, said: ‘I hope this outcome will mean that no-one else goes through the suffering I experienced after what should have been an easily treated medical issue.

‘It’s taken me a long time to recover, and while the settlement doesn’t reverse the damage done, it does at least help me get my life back on track.

A series of misdiagnoses over a period of 17 days led to her appendix bursting, causing significant bowel damage, in December 2011.

This then required an emergency drain to be inserted to remove the resulting abscesses before doctors could finally perform an appendectomy – almost two months later.

Her mother Julie Cains, 50, said she was horrified with the delays in Katie being diagnosed.

She said: ‘We went to the doctors and listened to what they said and we were told it was a 48-hour bug.

‘But when she wasn’t improving much we would go to the doctors again, were seen by the out-of-hours service and then eventually at hospital.

‘Her tummy was swollen and staff kept asking if she was pregnant, which she wasn’t so then they said they would book a scan – for February.

‘I was gobsmacked, I couldn’t believe she would have to wait that long.’

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, admitted liability.

A trust spokesman said: ‘The trust confirms liability was admitted in respect of Miss Pack’s treatment.

‘A formal written apology was made by the chief executive and a financial settlement reached.’

Law firm says sometimes action needs to be taken

FOLLOWING the misdiagnosis the family contacted the National Accident Helpline for help.

Law firm Coles Miller started the case against Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which admitted liability, agreed to pay compensation and wrote a letter of apology to Katie.

Solicitor David Simpson said: ‘Victims of medical negligence are often reluctant to take legal action against the NHS because they appreciate that GPs, surgeons and other healthcare practitioners are doing their best to help them. But sometimes there is simply no alternative.’