Heartbroken Family Instruct Lawyers To Investigate
The daughter of a Leeds woman is campaigning to raise awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer after her mum was diagnosed with the disease despite ‘normal’ smear test results.
Angela Jackson, 57, was given the devastating news that she had the disease in January 2018 following a series of examinations. Less than four years prior, she had undergone two routine smear tests which were both incorrectly reported to be normal.
Following a routine screening test in November 2017, Angela, of Beeston in Leeds, was referred to the colposcopy clinic. Over the next few months, she underwent various procedures including an MRI scan before being told she was suffering from stage 3b cervical cancer which had also spread to her lymph nodes.
At this time, Angela was advised by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust that an audit of her previous smear tests was to be carried out.
Following her diagnosis, Angela instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at national firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She and her daughter Toyah have now joined with the Irwin Mitchell legal team in raising awareness of the symptoms of cervical cancer and the support available to those diagnosed.
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has now admitted that the results of smear tests that Angela had in 2013 and 2014 ought to have been classified as borderline and moderate respectively. They were in fact reported to be normal. Had the 2014 smear tests been reported correctly Angela would have been successfully treated and would not have gone on to develop cervical cancer at all.
Expert Opinion“The past couple of years have been incredibly difficult for Angela and the rest of the family who have had to watch her become so unwell.
It has been devastating for Angela to learn that there were opportunities to identify abnormal changes to her cervix in the past which could have been treated and she would have avoided cervical cancer completely.
We are now working with Angela and the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to reach a conclusion to this sad case.
Whilst this is an example of an occasion when things were not done correctly, it is important that there is not a loss of confidence in the cervical cancer screening programme and women continue to attend appointments.”
Ross McWilliams - Senior Associate Solicitor
Angela has one daughter, Toyah, and four grandchildren. She previously worked as an accounts receivable supervisor at Leeds City College.
In March 2012, Angela’s smear test was reported as normal. However, she sought medical advice in October of the same year for abnormal bleeding.
The following February, Angela attended for another cervical smear, which was also reported as normal. It was later found that this should have been reported as borderline.
In December 2013, she was again investigated for abnormal bleeding but findings were said to be normal.
Angela had a further smear test in September 2014, which was again said to be normal but should have been reported as moderate.
Angela underwent another routine smear test in November 2017 which was reported to be abnormal. This led to a series of examinations, including a referral to the colposcopy clinic where a biopsy was taken.
An MRI scan was performed in January 2018, before Angela was diagnosed with cervical cancer later that month. Between February and April, she was given pelvic radiotherapy, chemotherapy and brachytherapy – also known as internal radiation.
Almost two years on from her mum’s diagnosis, Toyah said: “It is heart-breaking to watch my mum suffer the way that she has. She is such a caring woman and it is really hard to face that there is a chance all of this could have been prevented.
“The last few months have been terrible. Mum can no longer care for herself and knowing that there is nothing I can do to change what happened is unbearable. Mum is getting a huge amount of support from her family and staff at the local hospice Wheatfields, who have been fantastic, but it’s heart-breaking.
“While we can’t turn back the clock, I want to make sure that people know what this disease can do. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what we have.”
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