Mum told she’s ‘too fat’ for surgery

Alex Wardle, from Lee-on-the-Solent, collapsed at home and tragically died in March 2016, aged 23. 

From left: Alex's father, Stephen Wardle, sister Gemma Wardle, Alex Wardle and his mother, Denise Wardle.

Gosport family to keep Alex’s legacy alive by taking part in Great South Run

  • Mum claims she felt humiliated by surgeon’s comments about her weight
  • Family have put in a complaint to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  • They want to highlight to medical professionals that they should show more respect to patients
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A furious mum claims she was told by a consultant that she was ‘too fat for surgery’.

To make matters worse, it was in front of other patients and staff.

Nadine Biddle, who has Type 2 diabetes and suffers from a condition that causes a curvature of her spine, said she was left totally humiliated by the outburst by an unknown worker at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.

Nadine Biddle with daughter Chase

Nadine Biddle with daughter Chase

Now the family, of Elmore Avenue, Lee-on-the-Solent, have put in a complaint to Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA.

Nadine was admitted to QA with an inflamed gallbladder causing her extreme pain.

The 40-year-old said: ‘Three other surgeons had been to see me about having my gallbladder removed and said I would have the surgery.

‘Then this fourth surgeon came over and said I could go home as I wouldn’t be having the operation because I was too heavy and that was it.

Bigger people have feelings too, we are human and shouldn’t be spoken to like that

‘He said I needed to lose weight because I’m too fat and my sugar levels were all over the place.

‘But I hadn’t eaten for five days. I was trying to tell him this, but he didn’t want to listen.

‘Because of my spine I’m in a wheelchair, but I have lost two-and-a-half stone. But he just said “well done” sarcastically.’

Daughter Chase, 21, an administrator, said: ‘As a family we find this disgusting.

‘After building my mother’s confidence over the space of more than 10 years, it has now been torn apart by a selfish, inconsiderate surgeon with no compassion or empathy.

‘Although she’s overweight we know other people that have had the operation. This surgeon didn’t say how much weight my mum should lose, only that she was too fat.’

Nadine is now hoping to get treatment at Southampton General Hospital and hopes her story will highlight to medical professionals that they should listen to their patients.

She added: ‘I just want all patients to be listened to.

‘This surgeon decided I must sit at home and just eat when that isn’t the case. Because of my medication I have no appetite.

‘And because of my back I was unable to leave the house for two years. When I finally did I was left feeling humiliated – like a waste of space. Bigger people have feelings too, we are human and shouldn’t be spoken to like that.’

A spokesperson for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: ‘Surgery in overweight patients carries increased risks with sometimes serious complications and we like to optimise our patients’ condition and weight prior to routine, non-emergency surgery.

‘We cannot comment on individuals due to patient confidentiality, but patient safety, dignity and the quality of care is the highest priority of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust and any patient feedback is treated very seriously.

‘Any formal complaint to the trust’s Patient and Customer Services team is fully investigated in line with our trust policy.’