A mother-of-two who was sent home from a hospital assessment has been left permanently disabled - after doctors dismissed her stroke as high blood sugar levels.
Alison Yeadon 52, has to use a wheelchair and has difficulties with speech and memory problems after suffering a stroke four years ago, which was missed by docs who sent her home from an assessment.
Her husband Jon, who had rushed her to Bradford Royal Infirmary in 2017, said their lives have “changed forever” after Alison was left housebound by her disability and has to rely on care from her family.
‘A breach of duty’
Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has admitted a breach of duty and a failure to identify and diagnose Alison’s stroke.
However, it has denied admitting Alison to hospital when she was seen would have changed her outcome.
Jon, 50, said: “Before the stroke, Alison was fit and healthy and we enjoyed life as a family. Sadly, that’s a thing of the past for us now, and seeing my loving wife struggle day after day is heart-breaking.
“What Alison has been through has been unbearable. Our lives have changed forever.”
Jon rushed Alison Yeadon to Bradford Royal Infirmary on 9 July, 2017, after she suffered left-sided weakness which he suspected to be a stroke.
But she was assessed and discharged home, with doctors diagnosing possible high blood sugar.
Two days later, her weakness had worsened and she was struggling with her speech so Jon called a GP, who recommended Alison went to hospital as an emergency.
She was finally diagnosed with a stroke and treated, but she had already suffered serious injury.
She has since been left disabled and is now largely house and wheelchair bound and has speech and memory problems.
Alison, of Odsal, Bradford, is entirely dependent on Jon and her daughter Gemma, 30, to care for her.
‘A really bad headache’
Jon explained how the medical emergency unfolded.
He said: “Alison started complaining of a really bad headache which was getting stronger and stronger, as well as slight numbness in her left arm and leg and that she couldn’t stand up properly.
“I was convinced she was having a stroke so I called 999, but then she was sent back home.
“Within two days, she was a lot worse and was eventually diagnosed, but by then the damage was permanent.
“Despite what the hospital said it’s difficult not to think how things might have turned out differently had she been diagnosed earlier.
“All we can do now is help make others aware of what a stroke can do and what to look out for.”
Medical negligence experts at Irwin Mitchell solicitors have investigated the hospital’s failings so Alison can access the specialist life-time treatment and therapies she requires.
Her family and their legal team are now marking Stroke Awareness Month by highlighting the signs and symptoms of a stroke.
Rachelle Mahapatra, specialist medical negligence lawyer representing the family, said: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Alison and her family, having to deal with the life-changing effects of her stroke. She is now largely house bound because of her disabilities.
“Understandably they were then left with unanswered questions as to whether or not she should have been treated when she first attended hospital.
“While nothing can make up for their ordeal we’re pleased to have secured them with the answers they deserve.
“Alison’s story is a reminder of the importance for all medical professionals to be aware of the signs of a stroke and take appropriate action at all times.
“By speaking out Alison’s family hope that it will help others know what to look for.
“We’ll continue to support Alison and her family to ensure she can access the specialist therapies she requires to try and live as full a life as possible.”
A spokesperson for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “The Trust wishes to express its sincere apologies to Alison and her family that the opportunity to diagnose Alison’s stroke earlier was missed.
“This matter is ongoing and the Trust cannot comment any further whilst investigations continue.”
Stroke Awareness Month, held annually in May, aims to raise awareness of the signs of a stroke, the impact they have and educating people what to do in the event of someone suffering a stroke.
For more information visit the Stroke Association’s website www.stroke.org.uk