Medical Negligence Lawyers Join Family In Calling For Lessons To Be Learned After Legal Experts Secure Settlement
A widower is warning of the dangers of breast cancer after a Hospital Trust failed to identify his wife’s abnormal test results before her death from the disease.
Lesley Greenwood had complained of pain in her left breast for around five months and sought medical advice before attending a mammogram appointment.
Spennymoor mum Lesley Greenwood told mammogram test result was normal
The scan showed a cancerous mass measuring nearly an inch. However, it wasn’t picked up. Instead of being recalled, Lesley, of Spennymoor, County Durham, was told her test result was normal.
Over the coming months Lesley, continued to suffer pain and her left breast became red and swollen.
Lesley diagnosed with breast cancer following six month diagnosis delay
The mum-of-two and grandmother-of-three attended five further medical appointments. Following her fifth appointment and around six months after her initial mammogram, Lesley was referred to a breast clinic. Following further tests she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Lesley started treatment but it was later found the cancer had spread to her spine and liver. She died aged 54, 19 months after her diagnosis.
Loved ones ask medical negligence lawyers to investigate and secure answers
Following Lesley’s death her husband of 38 years Eric, instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his wife’s care.
Eric, aged 64, has now joined his legal team at Irwin Mitchell in raising awareness of the signs of the disease and calling for lessons to be learned.
Hospital Trust agrees settlement after admitting breach of duty
It comes after North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, which was responsible for analysing Lesley’s initial mammogram admitted a breach of duty. It admitted it failed to correctly interpret her mammogram and recall Lesley for further treatment.
The Trust admitted a six-month delay in diagnosing Lesley’s cancer led to a worse prognosis for her. As a result of the delay, it accepted that on the balance of probabilities, Lesley wouldn’t have died when she did.
Irwin Mitchell has secured an undisclosed settlement from the Trust to help Lesley’s family access the specialist support they require.
Megan Walker is the expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Eric and the couple’s daughter’s Steph Bate and Caroline Comby aged 30 and 31.
Expert Opinion“The last few years and trying to come to terms with Lesley’s diagnosis and death has been incredibly hard for all her family.
“Understandably Eric, Steph and Caroline, had a number of concerns about the care Lesley received. Sadly, our investigation has validated those concerns with the Trust admitting worrying failings in Lesley’s care.
“While nothing can make up for the hurt and pain Lesley’s family continue to suffer, we’re pleased that we’ve at least been able to provide them with the answers they deserve.
“Early detection and treatment are key to beating cancer so it’s vital that the Trust learn lessons from what happened to Lesley to improve patient care for others.
“We join Lesley’s family is raising awareness of the signs of breast cancer. Despite what happened to her and current concerns around cancer care and waiting times, it’s vital people continue to participate in screening programmes or seek medical advice as soon as possible if they’re concerned they may have cancer.” Megan Walker
Medical negligence: Lesley Greenwood's story
Lesley, a school cleaner, started complaining of pain in her left breast in November 2015 and attended a GP appointment. In March 2016 she attended a routine mammogram. It showed a cancerous lesion of 2.2 centimetres. However, the results were classed as normal.
However, over the coming months the pain persisted, and Lesley attended a further five medical appointments concerned about her condition. Following the fifth appointment, Lesley, was referred to a breast clinic. She underwent a further mammogram, in October 2016 which showed a 2.6 centimetre lesion. She was diagnosed with breast cancer the following day.
Lesley started chemotherapy and underwent a left breast mastectomy in April 2017. Lesley who also had radiotherapy, continued to feel unwell with symptoms including neck pain. Following tests in October 2017 it was found the cancer had spread to her spine and liver.
Doctors told Lesley her cancer was incurable. She died in May 2018.
Family's breast cancer warning as they pay tribute to loving, kind and generous Lesley
Eric, a refuge driver, said: “Lesley was an absolutely wonderful wife, mum and grandmother. She was loving, kind and generous. She lived for her family and loved looking after the grandkids. She was always keen to spoil us all and nothing was ever too much trouble for her.
“Lesley had a friend who had suffered with breast cancer and she was anxious about possibly developing it. When she started feeling pain she wanted to get checked out straight away. While the mammogram came back as normal, Lesley was still concerned especially as her pain was getting worse.
“Despite this nothing prepared us for the news she had cancer. Coming to terms with her diagnosis and having so many questions was incredibly difficult.
“Lesley was determined to fight her cancer head on. However, she suffered terribly at times during her chemotherapy. We all hoped her treatment would make her better but she continued to suffer. To be told that her cancer had spread and was incurable felt such a cruel blow.
“We tried to cherish what time we had as a family but seeing Lesley go from being the rock of our family to how she was in those last few days is something I’m not sure I’ll ever get over.
“Even after five years, as a family, the pain we continue to feel over Lesley’s death is raw now as it was then. There’s not a day goes by where we don’t think of her and her loving smile. We’d do anything to have her back in our lives but know that’s not possible.
“We’ll always be upset by what happened to Lesley but as a family we were determined to at least honour her memory by establishing the answers regarding what happened to her.
“All we can hope for now is that by speaking out we can help raise awareness of the signs of breast cancer and the need for everyone to receive the best care possible. We wouldn’t wish what we’ve been through on anyone.”
Find out more about our expertise in supporting families affected by cancer and a diagnosis delay at our dedicated cancer claims section. Alternatively to speak to an expert contact us or call 0370 1500 100.