Northampton mother disabled by back injury launches battle for justice

17/01/2013

A Northampton mother left significantly disabled by a treatable back condition has told how her life has been ‘shattered’ as she launched a battle for justice. 

Debbie Thomason is just 35 but changed from an active and busy mum, to being completely dependent on others within a matter of months. She can barely walk unaided and is in constant pain.  

Debbie, of Wootton, instructed specialist solicitors at law firm JMW after having serious concerns about the care provided to her by doctors at Northampton General Hospital. Legal proceedings against Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust have now begun.

Taking action

It is alleged that Debbie faced an unacceptable delay before having urgently needed surgery on her back. It is also alleged that when the surgery eventually took place it was of a poor standard and therefore unsuccessful. Debbie had to endure two further operations but by this point it was too late to prevent permanent damage. 

Debbie commented: “I just feel so angry that this has happened and that nothing can be done for me. By taking legal action I hope to highlight my case to the trust and help to save other people from going through what I have. While it is too late for me, it may not be for someone else.” 

Debbie’s problems began in May 2011, when she sneezed and felt excruciating pain in her back, followed by classic symptoms of serious spinal condition Cauda Equina Syndrome – such as numbness in her lower back area. After her husband Darren called an ambulance, Debbie was taken to Northampton General Hospital.  Cauda equina syndrome requires fast diagnosis and surgery to prevent permanent damage. It is caused when the cauda equina nerves at the base of the spine become compressed.  

Life-changing disease

Debbie has two children with husband Darren, Jamie, 15, and Bethany 12. The couple have also fostered 16 children in the last five years, and Debbie used to be responsible for the majority of the childcare. However, now she needs constant care herself, meaning Darren has had to give up his job as a bricklayer to take over her role as a mother and foster carer. 

Eddie Jones, Debbie’s lawyer at JMW, commented: “Debbie is now disabled at the age of 35 and has gone from being an independent woman used to spending her days caring for others, to someone who needs care herself. 

“Cauda equina syndrome has devastated her life, but the tragedy is that it doesn’t have to cause such significant disability and can be treated effectively with urgent surgery. By taking legal action against the hospital trust Debbie hopes to highlight the need for fast action and we would urge Northampton General Hospital to ensure that a thorough investigation into her care is carried out.”

Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Livesey on the details below:

Kelly Livesey

D. 0161 828 1868E.

Kelly.livesey@jmw.co.uk 



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