A STRABANE mum who had her appendix erroneously removed by surgeons at Altnagelvin says her life is becoming unbearable due to a near-constant pain.
The woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, relayed this week how she has been suffering from debilitating abdominal and side pains for the last seven years. However, despite being rushed to hospital countless times, she says medics are no closer to diagnosing her condition.
The situation, she believes, is now amounting to negligence and an informal complaint has recently been lodged with the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
“This is going on now for between six and seven years but it doesn’t seem to matter how many times I’m there (Altnagelvin Hospital), I’m not getting any further,” the mother-of-two explained.
“I’m getting no answers. I only got out this week after another eight or nine days in hospital – the third time this year – and I’m no further forward. A nurse didn’t even want to admit me in the first place.”
She added, “The pain is really, really sore. As well as around my (abdomen), there’s really bad back pain and pains down my right side at my kidneys. I’m aware of it all the time, sometimes it dulls. Sometimes it’s unbearable.”
The woman says that her problems are further compounded by what she sees as frustration on the part of the Derry medics.
“I had to fight to get a CT scan and then I was told if it shows nothing, my pain must be down to something psychological,” she continued.
“But how can they tell me it’s psychological and then send me home with morphine? I can’t help but feel that they’re not listening to me and I don’t think they’re telling me the whole story.”
The local mother says her ongoing issues were epitomised by the unnecessary appendix operation.
“They ended up taking my appendix out when there was no reason to,” she said.
“It was suggested another time it might be IBS. But no-one can tell me what it is. It’s frustrating. I think they’re just passing the buck and no-one cares anymore.
“At this stage, I’ve reached my limit. I feel like it’s negligence but I don’t know where to go from here.”
She concluded, “I just want answers.”
When approached about the local woman’s plight, a spokesperson for the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) said, “Respecting patient/client confidentiality the Trust does not comment on individual cases.
“If a patient or their relative has any issue in relation to their treatment we would encourage them to raise these issues through the Trust’s comments and complaints system – the Patients’ Advocate Office. The Patients’ Advocate Office can be contacted on (028) 7161 1226 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.”