Mum Slams Scandal-Hit Stafford Hospital For ‘Appalling’ Care And Conduct

Expert Lawyers Secure Settlement For Woman Left With Life Changing Injuries From Hospital Errors


By Helen MacGregor

A mum who suffered life changing injuries due to a series of errors made by doctors at Stafford Hospital when she gave birth to her fourth child, has slammed the care she was given and said the delay by the NHS trust in accepting the full consequences of her injury is ‘appalling’.

Candi Kaya was unable to care for her new baby, her marriage broke down, she can never work again and is in constant pain because doctors failed to notice her bladder was damaged during a caesarean section in June 2008 and left it untreated for six days.

The errors left the 43-year-old, from West Stafford, with a host of irreversible medical problems and she instructed medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell to help her gain access to the funds she needs for her ongoing treatment and to cover the fact she can no longer work.

At an early stage in her case, Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust admitted that the non-negligent injury caused to her bladder during her caesarean section should have been diagnosed and repaired during the operation, and there was a subsequent failure to act upon her complaints of high pain, haematuria and abdominal distension and to seek senior advice on the situation. 

It was also accepted that as a consequence of this, Candi had to undergo further urgent surgery which included having to have a stoma. This was subsequently reversed but her surgery was complicated by abscesses, which required further surgery and pulmonary embolism. 

However, Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust refused to accept that all of the complications Candi suffered were as a consequence of their substandard surgery and they stalled for a further three years before agreeing to a six-figure settlement with Irwin Mitchell, leaving Candi even more frustrated and angry at the way she was treated.

Her lawyer Sara Burns, a Partner and medical expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: "Candi has been forced to wait five years to see justice for the horrendous injuries she suffered as a result of negligent treatment and it is simply not acceptable.

"The injuries continue to have a devastating impact on her life today, so we were determined that the settlement should reflect this and take into account the fact she can no longer work and is in considerable pain and discomfort every day.

"Given the Stafford Hospital scandal, we hoped it would encourage the Trust to work with us quickly and that they would take all steps possible to show lessons have been learnt, but sadly this was not the case.

"We hope the settlement now means Candi can begin to move forward with her life and start to put her five year ordeal behind her."

Candi was admitted to Stafford Hospital on 4 June 2008 to undergo a planned caesarean with her fourth child, her daughter Hani.

Bladder damage is a recognised risk of a Caesarean section but, despite Candi showing the classic symptoms of infection (bloating and severe pain) doctors failed to realise what had happened, meaning she was left untreated for six days.

She was eventually taken for further surgery to repair her bladder but, as a result of the delay, Candi had developed urinary peritonitis. This had caused her bowel to rupture. She then had to undergo a number of operations, after one of which she suffered a blood clot and an incisional hernia, which meant she needed further treatment.

Five years on, she continues to suffer with problems from the blood clots and increased bowel frequency and urgency as well as pain from the incisional hernia. Candi also has significant scarring. The settlement will fund treatment to try and help her manage her shortness of breath and depression and future surgery for scar revision and to treat the hernia. 

Candi, who has three other children, said: "It’s hard to explain the impact Stafford Hospital’s negligence has had on my life. My husband and I were excited to welcome our fourth child into the family and we were also in the process of setting up our own takeaway business. But because of the hospital’s failure to recognise and treat my symptoms, all of our plans were ruined.

"I couldn’t nurse or care for Hani because I was in and out of surgery and in agony which broke my heart.

"But despite doctors eventually realising what was wrong and treating the damage, I have been left with permanent injuries that mean I can’t work, do any physical exercise or have the life I’d hoped for. I have always tried to cope as best as I can for the sake of my children. This settlement will enable me to get some help and the support I need to look after them.

"Sadly, the enormous stress my illness put on my family caused my marriage to break down. This means I have to try and cope alone and I still have difficulties with everyday tasks.

"The Trust’s refusal to co-operate with my legal team at Irwin Mitchell has basically been an added insult to injury as it has hung over me for the last five years. I find it appalling that they admitted responsibility for my injury but continued to argue over how this had impacted on my life and then stalled for a further three years before agreeing to a settlement.

"Even now I haven’t had an apology or any reassurance that improvements have been made in recognising the symptoms of bladder damage. I just hope the recent Public Inquiry into the Trust means that measures have now been put in place across the services the hospital offers to ensure no other patients have to suffer like I have.

"I could not have coped these past 5 years without the support of my very special family. Sara and her team at Irwin Mitchell were outstandingly professional and consistently supportive."

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise relating to medical negligence claims