Correct Diagnosis Was Only Found After Man Instructed Lawyers To Investigate Cause Of His Illness
A former army corporal, who was medically discharged in 2015, has instructed specialist lawyers after he was wrongly diagnosed for two years prior to his discharge and was only correctly diagnosed following work done by his legal team.
Morgan Gilbert, 35, from Angus, served in the army from 1999 until 2015. In 2014, after suffering with pains in his hands and feet when rewarming, he was diagnosed with Raynaud’s disease, a common condition that affects blood supply to certain parts of the body, usually a person’s toes and fingers. Subsequently this diagnosis also prevented Morgan from undertaking a Sergeant’s course.
Despite being treated for this, Morgan’s symptoms persisted and it was not until 2015 that he was correctly diagnosed with a Non-Freezing Cold Injury (NFCI). Only then did he begin to receive the correct treatment for his injuries.
Following his discharge and the failure of the initial treatment, Morgan instructed specialist military injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of his illness. It was this work that led to Morgan being correctly diagnosed.
Alexander Davenport, the specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office who is representing Morgan, said:
Expert Opinion“Non-freezing cold injuries can have a very serious, debilitating impact on victims, leading them to suffer sensitivity to the cold and chronic pain which can affect them for the rest of their lives. Quick and accurate diagnosis of them is incredibly important.
“Most concerning is that it was only through our investigations that Morgan was correctly diagnosed with NFCI. Those who serve put their lives on the line and do not deserve to be let down in ways like this.
“We are determined to ensure that our client gets both the justice he deserves and also access to the support which will assist him as he continues to cope with the impact of this permanent condition will have on him in the future.” Alexander Davenport - Associate Solicitor
It was while serving in Afghanistan that Morgan’s symptoms began to develop.
Morgan suffered from pain in his hands and feet whilst exposed to prolonged extreme cold conditions in Afghanistan whilst on tour. It was only upon returning to the UK and going on exercise in milder conditions when previously he had suffered no problems that he became concerned and reported his symptoms after they reoccurred.
It was at this point that he was wrongly diagnosed by his Medical Officer and a rheumatologist with Raynaud’s disease despite all tests relating to the condition coming back as negative. He was prescribed Nifedipine but this made no difference to his condition.
Commenting on his wrong diagnosis, Morgan said: “It was incredibly frustrating when I found out I had been misdiagnosed for two years. If it wasn’t for my decision to instruct Irwin Mitchell, and their work looking into my illness, I may never have been correctly diagnosed.”
Morgan and his legal team are keen for lessons to be learnt from this and for more to be done to ensure soldiers are supported as much as possible, including being trained for the cold conditions.
Describing his experience in Afghanistan, Morgan recalled: “Whilst serving in Afghanistan I didn’t expect it to be a holiday with lots of luxuries but I expected that I would be looked after by the Ministry of Defence. I was working in extreme cold conditions throughout my 6 month tour without any form of heating or respite from the cold. The only warmth I got was from getting into my sleeping bag.
“I never expected that the issues I was facing would leave me with any long-term problems.
“This condition has had a huge impact on my life and I feel I deserve to know whether more should or could have been done to correctly diagnose me or stop it from developing in the first place. In this day and age it seems unthinkable that service personnel would be let down, like I have been despite the Army being well aware of such conditions since World War 1. I deserve answers.”
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in dealing with military injury claims.