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Father-of-Four Given Year To Live, Six Months After Receiving The All Clear

Stephen de-Haan Has Instructed Expert Medical Negligence Lawyers To Investigate Care He Received

09.01.2017

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A man who battled bowel cancer six years ago and received the all clear in February 2016 at his five-year review, has been given a year to live by doctors after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer as a delayed follow-up scan showed a tumour had grown and spread to his lymph nodes.

The father-of-four was originally diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 and following treatment, including the removal of part of his bowel, Stephen was informed that he was in remission.

But Stephen has now instructed specialist medical negligence solicitors at Irwin Mitchell to investigate his treatment as just six months later he was given the devastating news that he had terminal lung cancer when a delayed follow up scan showed a growth on his lungs.

In February 2016, Stephen visited Chorley Hospital, part of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, for his five-year review and scan as part of his recovery from bowel cancer. The initial scan was reported as requiring a follow-up scan four months later for reassurance although this appointment was never arranged by the Hospital.

Six months later and Stephen’s follow-up appointment had still not been arranged by Chorley Hospital. It was also in August that Stephen began coughing up blood and as he was concerned by this, he sought medical attention from his GP.

Stephen decided to chase up the hospital for his scan and was eventually given an appointment for August 2016.  This led to Stephen finally having a second scan which revealed a growth that had been present in February, had since grown and spread to his lymph nodes. Stephen was then diagnosed with terminal lung cancer by doctors.

Expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell are now investigating the care Stephen received at Chorley Hospital to establish whether an earlier scan at the originally intended time may have highlighted the problems.

Sharon Williams, the medical negligence specialist at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Stephen, said: 

Expert Opinion
“Stephen went through one of the toughest experiences someone can go through when fighting bowel cancer, and with the good news he received in February, he thought he could move on from that period of his life.

“Instead of now enjoying spending time with Irene, their four adult children and six grandchildren, he is now left fighting cancer once again.

“We are investigating the care he received to try and establish why he was not seen within the four months specified at his five-year review and what impact this has had on the timeliness of his diagnosis. The consequences of delaying cancer treatment can be devastating and it is important that if there are any lessons to be learned they are identified as soon as possible.”
Sharon Williams, Senior Associate Solicitor

Stephen, 59, has already begun chemotherapy, and is also fundraising in an attempt to raise enough money for him to undergo cancer immunotherapy treatment in Germany, a form of private treatment which is not yet available in the UK.

Cancer immunotherapy, which could extend Stephen’s life by up to 10 years, has received press attention in the UK  last year due to former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell, herself a terminal lung cancer patient, speaking out in support of the treatment.

Stephen, who has been married to Irene for 36 years, said: “It’s quite a thing when someone tells you that you may only have a year to live, it came out of the blue.

“I just can’t get past the fact that I should have had an appointment in June. It makes me wonder if the cancer could have been spotted sooner?

“My greatest wish now is that lessons can be learned from what has happened to me so that no else has to go through what I have.

“I thought I was in the clear but it is simply devastating to be back fighting this terrible disease.”

Stephen is being helped in his fundraising efforts by his family and friends. They are arranging a movie themed fancy dress party on 28 January 2017 at St George’s Club, Trinity Road, Chorley.   

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a delayed or misdiagnosed medical condition, our medical negligence solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Medical Misdiagnosis Claims page for more information.