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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A young mother had to have her right leg amputated after doctors failed to spot she was suffering from a rare type of cancer for seven month

Mother loses leg after doctors 'miss cancer'
Article in the Telegraph


"Sally Hurst, 29, a radio producer, repeatedly complained of pains in her knee before it was discovered she had potentially fatal and aggressive tumour.

She had been planning to marry her fiance Peter on an Italian cliff top when her physiotherapist referred her to a specialist. Subsequent tests revealed she the bone cancer Osteosarcoma in her right tibia and had to have her leg amputated from her mid-thigh.

Mrs Hurst had to postpone the wedding, and the couple all but gave up hope of having children.

She said: "For months I was made to feel like a hypochondriac and felt as though I was just being neurotic but ultimately, if I had been referred to a specialist earlier, I might not have lost my leg."

Three months after first visiting her doctor, she was sent for physiotherapy for "ligament damage".

But the pain became so bad that she was walking with a crutch and was given a disabled parking space by her employers.

Mrs Hurst said: "I was ringing my physio constantly complaining of the pain and alarm bells started ringing with him that it wasn't quite right.""

"She and Mr Hurst married the following year at a small ceremony in Rochdale Town Hall, and eight months ago Mrs Hurst gave birth to their daughter Holly.

Mrs Hurst added: "I was told I was going through the menopause in October 2006 as a result of the intense chemotherapy.

"So we couldn't believe it when we found out I was expecting. I felt my body was giving something back to me.""

"Mrs Hurst is now taking legal action against her local West Lodge Surgery, in Pudsey, West Yorks, alleging clinical negligence resulting in the loss of a limb.

Rachelle Mahapatra, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, who is representing her, said: "Despite her continued pleas for help from her GP her symptoms were dismissed as a sprain.

"Time is of the essence when you have an aggressive tumour and the delay meant she could not be considered for limb-sparing surgery.""

The incompetence/negligence/ignorance of doctors is so frequently, as in this case, compounded by their insulting sexist attitudes and demoralising remarks about hypochondria and neuroticism.