“If we save one family, it’s worth it”: Husband posted devastating photo of gaunt wife minutes before death to shock women into cancer tests
The picture of Donna Lowe captures the horrific reality of the disease – and Elliott hopes that it will encourage women into booking smear tests
A husband was left devastated after his wife died from cervical cancer five years after medics wrongly recorded the results of a smear test as ‘normal’.
Mother-of-two Louisa Foster died in June 2013, two years after she was diagnosed with the disease. But doctors have admitted that they had missed a chance to inform Mrs Foster of possible abnormalities in 2008, three years before the diagnosis.
The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted that if Louisa’s test results had been reported as ‘abnormal’ she would have been referred for more tests. With ‘appropriate treatment’ she ‘would not have developed cervical cancer’.
Widower Graeme Foster, 49, of Granborough, Buckinghamshire, said the error meant their children, Poppy, now 10, and Casper, now seven, were growing up without a mother. He added: ‘Louisa was everything to me and I miss her every day.’
Mr Foster said: ‘Louisa was a beautiful and caring person and a great mum. To see her health deteriorate as the cancer took hold of her was heartbreaking.
‘Although she was suffering extreme pain because of her illness, Louisa always tried to stay positive right to the end. She was more concerned about the wellbeing of others, especially Poppy and Casper.
‘Louisa was everything to me and I miss her every day. Our family had the rest of our lives to spend together and this has now been snatched away from us.
‘Louisa will never get to experience the up and downs of bringing up her children or be there to celebrate milestones such as Poppy and Casper sitting their exams, going to university or getting their first job.’
Mrs Foster first underwent a test as part of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme at her GP surgery in July 2008.
Due to high demand for the service, and to meet national reporting targets, the test was sent to Sheffield for analysis.
The results were recorded as normal and Louisa was advised that she did not need another test for three years.
After giving birth to Casper in December 2010, Louisa started to experience pain and discomfort. However she was told it was an infection and put on a course of antibiotics.
She continued to suffer symptoms of cervical cancer, including weight loss and severe pain in her back, pelvis and abdomen, over the coming months.
After seeing doctors on several occasions she was referred to a gynaecologist. After further tests and a biopsy, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in April 2011.
Mrs Foster was told her cancer was incurable in late 2012. She was admitted to a hospice on 8 June, 2013, and died six days later.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which was responsible for the test results, admitted liability for Louisa’s death.
Mr Foster continued: ‘When Louisa started complaining of pain in her stomach and back and started losing weight shortly after giving birth to Casper I instinctively knew something wasn’t right.
‘However, the doctors seemed to think Louisa’s symptoms were connected to childbirth or she had an infection. We trusted their opinions and it’s only now that we know the doctors faced a tremendously difficult task because they were referring to incorrect information on her medical notes.
‘I appreciate those in the NHS face daily challenges but my family have paid the ultimate price because of the negligent recording of my wife’s results.
‘Had Louisa been given accurate results she could have sought further help and treatment before it was too late. My wife would still be alive and my children would still have their mum.
‘No women should have to go through the pain Louisa did. It’s so important that if any women feel they may have symptoms linked to cervical cancer they seek medical advice quickly, and if needs be don’t take no for an answer. I hope that no other families have to suffer the devastation that our family have.’
Law firm Irwin Mitchell is now working with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on a settlement.
Marcos Eleftheriou, expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Graeme, said: ‘Louisa’s case sadly highlights the devastating consequences that can happen because of delays in diagnosing and treating cervical cancer.
‘Although Louisa’s test results were recorded inaccurately it’s important women continue to take part in the NHS’ Cervical Screening Programme. We also join Graeme in encouraging any women who may think they have the symptoms of cervical cancer to seek medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity.’
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week is organised by the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. For more information visit www.jostrust.org.uk.
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Source : https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/husband-posted-heartbreaking-facebook-photograph-11884048
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5297081/Mum-died-YEARS-medics-wrongly-recorded-smear-results.html