Withy King helps widower to sue NHS for failure to diagnose wife’s stroke
Our Medical Negligence team is helping an Oxfordshire widower to sue a hospital trust for failing to diagnose and treat a stroke which led to his wife’s untimely death at the age of 46.
Judith Leach, a barrister in our Medical Negligence team in Oxford, is representing Timothy Owers, 48, of Woodbridge Close, Aston, in a trial which is taking place this week at London’s High Court.
The trial centres on the diagnosis and treatment Mr Owers’s wife Karen received after being taken by ambulance to Medway Hospital in Kent on 14 March 2010, suffering from a suspected stroke. At the time, she had been visiting her parents who live in Kent.
Mrs Owers was assessed by non-medically qualified staff who allegedly told her she had a migraine and should go home and sleep it off.
Mr Owers’s barrister, Judith Leach, who is also a registered nurse, said: “I have been dealing with stroke cases for many years and this is the worst I have ever come across.
“Mrs Owers went to the hospital with clear signs of a stroke, which she had diagnosed herself and other members of her family recognised too from a recent television campaign, only to be told by non-medically qualified staff to go home and sleep off a migraine. We are arguing that it was these negligent actions that caused Mrs Owers to suffer significant disabilities and end up in a wheelchair until her death four years later at the age of 46. This tragic episode has had a devastating impact on Mr Owers and their teenage son Jake and continues to affect the whole family in so many ways.
“The fact that non-medically qualified staff were allowed to assess and diagnose Mrs Owers, a patient who we argue was displaying clear stroke symptoms, defies belief. If this is going on in other hospitals in other parts of the country, it needs to be stopped immediately.”
Mr Owers is claiming damages from Medway NHS Foundation Trust in Kent and the NHS Commissioning Board on behalf of his wife’s estate. He is also looking for compensation for his own post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological injuries.
The trial continues.