Grandfather-of-11 Instructs Legal Experts After ‘Avoidable’ Below The Knee Amputation

Brave Amputee Speaks Out For Diabetes Week


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

A grandfather-of-11 has instructed medical negligence experts at national law firm Irwin Mitchell after an ulcer caused by his diabetes resulted in him needing a below the knee amputation, after the hospital treating him mismanaged his condition.

Kevin Marsden, from Darnall, Sheffield, South Yorks., is speaking out about his ordeal as part of Diabetes Awareness Week, to prevent others from suffering the life changing ordeal he has had to endure.

The 62-year-old former scrap yard worker was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2001, which was kept under control by diet and medication.

The father-of-five, who lives with wife Maureen, aged 61, began taking insulin in 2003 and attended regular check-ups with the diabetic nurse at his GP surgery.

Mr Marsden developed an ulcer, which is common in diabetes sufferers, on his left heel in 2011 and was referred to the Northern General Hospital’s diabetic foot clinic.

The ulcer continued to be treated by the hospital until June 2011, when Mr Marsden was informed that he required a below knee amputation of his left leg. 

On 27 July 2011, Mr Marsden, a keen gardener who used to tend to his allotment before and after work, underwent the operation to remove the lower part of his left leg.

Since then Sheffield Teaching Hospitals have admitted that their management of the foot ulcer was negligent and that with appropriate treatment, the ulcer would have healed successfully and an amputation would not have been necessary.

Medical negligence solicitor Sarah Rowland, from law firm Irwin Mitchell, has been acting on behalf of Mr Marsden, and said: “Mr Marsden has very bravely decided to speak out, to help raise awareness of diabetes.

Undergoing an amputation was not only hugely traumatic for Mr Marsden but in this instance, avoidable. Not only does he deserves answers as to what went wrong and why, but also a fair settlement to help him get the necessary rehabilitation he needs, and any equipment or adaptations for his home which may help him get around more easily.

“Hospitals should be a safe place to go when you require treatment for a condition such as diabetes. However, this case highlights how devastating the consequences can be if you don’t receive the quality of treatment you deserve, which can be life changing.” 

Mr Marsden, President of the Pigeon Fanciers’ Club and a respected figure within the sport, was left unable to continue tending to his pigeons following the operation.

He is now hoping to get the rehabilitation he needs to enable him to go back to the sport he loves.

The former scrapyard worker, who was also forced to give up his job due to the amputation, said: “The whole thing happened so quickly. I didn’t have time to process what was happening to me. It was a huge shock because one minute I was told the ulcer was healing, and the next I was being told I’d have to lose half of my leg.

“Sometimes I forget about the amputation and when I see my stump it’s hard not to get angry and frustrated because if my condition had been better managed, this could have been avoided.

“I’ve always been active and loved working, being in the allotment and racing pigeons. It’s been a bitter pill to swallow, that my life has completely changed and I have had to give up so many things that I enjoyed doing.

“The realisation made me feel hopeless and I just want to raise awareness about my experience to help prevent anyone else having to suffer in the same way I have.”

Mr Marsden’s case is on-going and his solicitors, who form part of the largest medical negligence team in the UK, are now working to value the claim so he can get the financial help he needs for rehabilitation.

Diabetes Week runs from Sunday 12-18 June and encourages people to share stories, facts and videos about the illness which sees 3.5 million people diagnosed in the UK each year.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of negligent diabetes care, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.