A mother-of-three who suffered appalling failures in the treatment of a spinal condition says she wants her story to be told to raise awareness.

Beverley Burling is highlighting the catalogue of medical errors she faced when she developed cauda equina syndrome to try to stop the same thing from happening to others.

As a result of the mistakes that were made, the 40-year-old from Yeovil can now only walk short distances unaided, often relies on crutches and a mobility scooter and is unable to work. Beverley also has no bowel or bladder function due to permanent nerve damage and has to rely daily on complicated systems and equipment to manage this.

However if Beverley had been treated with more urgency by doctors she would have made a complete recovery gone back to leading a normal life.

After being helped to challenge the mistakes made by Eddie Jones, a specialist cauda equina syndrome solicitor at law firm JMW, Yeovil District Hospital and Musgrove Park Hospital admitted that their treatment of Beverley was inadequate. She has now been awarded an undisclosed compensation settlement to help her with the financial consequences of her disability.

Beverley, who is married and has three sons, said: “Cauda equina syndrome has changed everything. I have lost my job, cannot pursue a new career and it has negatively affected my relationship with my husband and children.

“Everything is a struggle and my husband has had to give up his career as an aircraft engineer so that he can be at home more to support me and the children, who have varying levels of additional care needs. I’m stuck in the house most of the time and have to hobble around on crutches. Going out with friends or as a couple is a rarity and is such a struggle and I have lost friends as a result. Knowing all this was avoidable is absolutely heart-breaking and there are many others like me. That’s why awareness is so important, this is not just a minor condition, it’s life-changing and if I can stop even more other person suffering as I have then I’ve achieved something positive.”

Eddie commented: “There were many missed opportunities for Beverley to have been diagnosed and given surgery and it was alarming to see how she was left to deteriorate over the course of three weeks until it was too late. This all comes down to a lack awareness of the red flags of cauda equina syndrome, the urgency of the situation and the catastrophic consequences for patients if it is left untreated for too long. Once the damage is done, it’s a lifelong injury that will never get better and that’s why it’s absolutely crucial clinicians take heed of Beverley’s story.”

Beverley’s nightmare with cauda equina syndrome began on 16 November 2015 when back pain that she had developed that year suddenly became far more severe and she stopped being able to feel when she was passing urine, both warning signs of cauda equina syndrome. Beverley saw a GP but was not sent to hospital

On 14 February 2016 Beverley’s left leg went numb and she was struggling to pass urine. She required an emergency MRI scan and surgery to relieve the pressure on the nerves and was referred to Musgrove Park Hospital, but this was not done and she was sent home.

By 18 February the numbness had spread and she went to A&E at Yeovil District Hospital but she was again sent home. By the 20th the numbness had deteriorated further and Beverley was struggling to control her bladder. She re-attended A&E but despite the urgency of her situation she was yet again sent home and told she would receive an appointment for an MRI scan.

The scan was eventually done on 29 February 2016 and surgery on 4 March, at Musgrove Park Hospital, but by now it was too late to prevent permanent damage from being caused. However if Beverley had been diagnosed earlier the window of opportunity to successfully treat her would not have been missed.


 Notes to editors:

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

Kelly Hindle

D. 07921 388 584

E. Kelly.hindle@jmw.co.uk

Samantha Meakin

D: 0161 828 1981

E: Samantha.meakin@jmw.co.uk

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.

JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones.




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