Tuesday, 29 April 2008

MY BOY WAS DAYS FROM DEATH

AN angry mum has blasted medics, claiming they almost failed to spot a brain tumour which could have killed her son.

Sue Curtis aims to launch legal action against South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust over the alleged blunder.Her 16-year-old son Grant is now recovering after a life-saving operation. Mrs Curtis, 37, of Harton Lane, South Shields, said it was her motherly instinct which made her press doctors for a scan. The former Brinkburn School pupil, who has just had his GCSE results, has a history of intense headaches.

Regular visits to his GP failed to show any signs of a tumour, but his mum – housebound for more than 15 years due to agoraphobia – wouldn't give up her fight.

She said: "We took Grant to hospital three years ago because he kept having these nasty headaches.

"They gave him a few blood tests, and I told them he should be scanned, but we were told he didn't need one.

"When he kept having painful headaches, I got on to my GP and demanded they do a scan, but they thought I was just an over-anxious mother.

"My GP eventually agreed to send him for one, saying they were 99 per cent sure there was nothing wrong." When they said they'd found a tumour, I screamed at them down the phone. "Grant was rushed into Newcastle General Hospital on June 29, and surgeons carried out the four-hour operation the following day. "We were told if it had been three days later, he could have died," she said."

Thankfully, they didn't think the tumour was cancerous, but he has to go back to hospital every two months." Grant was due to start a painting and decorating course at South Tyneside College next month, but has had to defer it for a year to recuperate." He can't do anything too strenuous for around three months," said his mum." I always knew something was wrong. I'm just glad I didn't give up." David Shilton, executive director for nursing and clinical governance at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Mrs Curtis has not formally notified us of her concerns, but if she does we will undertake a thorough investigation and provide a full response."

Helen Routledge, from Newcastle-based law firm Samuel Phillips, said: "Mrs Curtis has instructed the firm to pursue a potential claim for compensation on behalf of her son Grant against South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust regarding medical treatment they provided."

By CHRIS ROBINSON
christopher.robinson@northeast-press.co.uk

Many thanks to Venus (Sue from The 3 Arguido's forum) for allowing me to publish her story.