Dad tells of hospital horror ordeal

Steve and Pamela Turton after their ordeal at Wigan Infirmary
Steve and Pamela Turton after their ordeal at Wigan Infirmary

A WIGAN dad is demanding answers after he says a catalogue of medical errors left him hours from death.

Stephen Turton was sent home from Wigan Infirmary with constipation medication when his gall bladder was badly ruptured.

And later, after the diseased organ was removed in an emergency op, he was forced to remove the surgical staples and drain himself as district nurses would not visit his house.

The 54-year-old Orrell chiropodist told the Evening Post that he had lost two stone in four weeks during the ordeal.

He also estimates he has lost thousands of pounds after having to close his business for long periods while he was suffering.

He said: “I am in the medical profession and I appreciate that things can go wrong.

“I am not after money, suing is not in my nature, but I believe I am owed answers and an explanation from the hospital.

“When my gallbladder was removed, the surgeons couldn’t do it through keyhole surgery it was in such a bad way. They said it was the worse they had ever seen.

“If my perforated acute cholecystitis had been diagnosed when it should have been I would not have had to go through this ordeal.”

Mr Turton has collated a detailed pack of medical notes and test results from his time in hospital that he believes proves that he was mistreated. He describes visiting the accident and emergency department for the second time in 48 hours after intense stomach pain and persistent vomiting of dark green liquid with black flecks in which he thought indicated blood.

A doctor identified his distended gallbladder whereas a practitioner nurse said the mass was a stool and advised Mr Turton should return home with painkillers and laxatives as his test results were normal.

However, the medical notes that Mr Turton has now obtained show that blood tests taken before he was discharged suggested he had a serious problem but the results were not followed up. One indicator, known as C-Reactive Protein, that suggests inflammation in the body, was at a level of 98 when under 10 is an acceptable level. It had risen from 5.7 mg per litre to 98 in under 48 hours.

Mr Turton said: “I was sent home but when I visited my GP days later, he felt my abdomen and immediately sent me out of the room and rang the hospital. He called me back in and said I had to go the surgical ward immediately. My gallbladder was severely ruptured and had caused the infection to spread to my liver. I was close to dying.”

He was then put on a drip for several days to bring the infection under control before his gallbladder could be removed. But within 48 hours of the emergency operation, Mr Turton was allowed home having been reassured that his surgical drain and staples would be taken out by a district nurse in the coming days.

But days later, Mr Turton had not been seen and was later informed he could not have a home visit because he had not left the hospital in an ambulance.

He said: “I was told if I didn’t come in, they would put it down as a refusal. I wasn’t refusing, I was physically not capable of going in. In the end I took the drain and staples out myself in front of a mirror. You can imagine how painful that would be.”

Having gone through the hospital’s complaints procedure, Mr Turton received a letter which stated WWL was satisfied with their initial diagnosis of gastritis and that all the test results were considered according to their protocols.

Mr Turton said: “I deserve some answers to the questions I have asked. I am not attacking the hospital as a whole. I have a history of bowel disease and I have received brilliant care from the nurses on Langtree Ward.

“But my gallbladder was in pieces and the indicators were there that there was something seriously wrong. But I was sent home and if I had not gone to see my GP and been advised to have emergency surgery, I could have died.”

When contacted by the Evening Post, a spokesman for the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust said they would not be commenting on the issue due to patient confidentiality regulations.