Dorset Man Demands Answers Over Surgery
A former Dorset holiday park manager is taking legal action in a bid to discover why surgery he underwent almost 15 years previously, failed to control the spread of a brain tumour.
Richard Crawshaw was just 26 years old when, in 1995, he first began experiencing severe headaches and problems with his vision.
An MRI scan confirmed Richard’s worst fear of a ‘meningioma’ - a tumour of the protective membranes around the brain. Richard, who was at the time living in Weymouth, was admitted to Southampton General Hospital in May 1995 to undergo surgery for the tumour to be removed.
Following the operation, Richard claims he was told by a surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, that the tumour had been successfully removed.
It was not until almost 15 years later in 2010 when Mr Crawshaw started to suffer similar symptoms that he visited a specialist ophthalmologist at Torbay Hospital. An MRI scan confirmed that the tumour had never been completely removed. Richard was told that, for almost 15 years, the tumour had instead been allowed to spread extensively and had also wrapped itself around the optic nerve behind his left eye.
He was referred to Derriford Hospital and has since undergone several operations to remove the tumour and repair damage caused to his face.
Kate Easy, a medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors’ Bristol office who is representing Mr Crawshaw, said: “Richard and his family are understandably extremely concerned about his future. It is of particular concern that Richard was effectively given the all clear and told the tumour had been removed.
“Had Richard received follow up care then the tumour may have been detected at an earlier stage, allowing earlier intervention.
“By the time he began to suffer a repeat of his original symptoms the tumour had become very invasive and required a fourteen hour operation, in March 2010 to attempt to fully remove the tumour. Since then he has also had to undergo several procedures to repair the damage caused by the surgery.
“Richard and his partner, Ina, are understandably troubled about the standard of care he received back in 1995 and we are in the early stages of legal proceedings to find out whether Southampton General Hospital should have done more to safeguard Richard’s health.
Mr Crawshaw, who now lives in Tattershall in Lincolnshire, commented: “It has been a frightening time for me and my family. At one point - when I was told that my tumour had not been removed but had spread extensively - I thought that I might not live to see my two year old son, Dylan grow up, which was a devastating prospect.
“I am an ex-semi professional cricketer and had always been in good health previously, so this experience has been really terrifying. I don’t know where I would be without the support from my family and it has been a terrible ordeal for them.
“After the original operation back in 1995, the medical staff reassured me that the tumour had been removed safely but I got practically no follow up care.
“The only appointment following my operation was more than a year later and only lasted 10 minutes. During this appointment I did not have any physical examination. A scan was not performed nor even scheduled, I was just signed off.
“I’ve had to undergo further extensive surgery to attempt to fully remove the tumour which had been allowed to spread undetected for so many years and now have to go for regular check ups and MRI scans in case the tumour returns and I’m informed there is a good chance it will. At the moment I’m trying to live each day as it comes but I feel very uncertain about my long term health. This has caused so much heartache for me and my family and I will not rest until I get answers, as to why the tumour was allowed to spread undetected.”