Mr M, a young man in his 30s, demonstrated worrying signs suggestive of bowel cancer. He was referred by his GP to a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (‘RD&E’). Unfortunately, despite his symptoms and a history of colorectal cancer in his family, Mr M was forced to wait several months before a colonoscopy was performed which identified a tumour in his colon (a moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma of the colon).
We were able to prove that a consequence of negligent medical treatment he suffered a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of his cancer.
After his diagnosis Mr M was offered and accepted surgery as a curative treatment.
At the time of surgery, his colon tumour had enlarged and had become stuck to the dome of his bladder. This made the surgery to remove his tumour significantly more complex.
To make matters much worse, the curative surgery was then performed negligently.
Mr M developed an anastomotic leak (a leak at the point where the bowel was re-joined). This caused life threatening peritonitis and fistulas from the bladder to the rectal stump and from the bladder closure site through the abdominal incision.
Mr M required multiple further operations (where his abdomen was opened and washed out) and he spent time in intensive care. At one point he was given a less than 15% chance of survival.
Thankfully Mr M survived. Sadly, he has been left with a permanent colostomy and a parastomal hernia. In the future he will require further surgery to manage his condition.
The claim was heavily defended by the Trust throughout. We attempted to settle the claim without recourse to court proceedings, but this was not possible.
Shortly before trial, and in a last attempt to reach an amicable settlement, we managed to conclude the claim at a roundtable settlement meeting. Although no amount of compensation could make up for what Mr M and his family went through, we were able to obtain a settlement in excess of £500,000 on his behalf.