Woman dies from tumour after wrong diagnosis

April 14, 2011 | by | 0 Comments

A mum who was wrongly diagnosed with a frozen shoulder for three years was finally told she was actually suffering from cancer – the day before she died in a hospital toilet.

Woman dies from tumour after wrong diagnosis

Care home worker Jean Cross, 60, (pictured, above) repeatedly complained about the pain in her arm and was eventually left in total agony and unable to move it.

But GPs at her local surgery prescribed painkillers and told her to get physiotherapy and alternative therapies.

After three years of failed treatment she was given an MRI scan which revealed the cause of pain was a lung tumour so big it was crushing the nerves in her arm.

But the cancer was so advanced that doctors could do nothing to save her – and she died within hours of being diagnosed.

To make matters worse, Jean was found dead in a toilet at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, Moray.

Her devastated husband Colin, also 60, is now considering legal action.

He said: ”I got a call to say she was found dead in the toilet.

”Staff at the hospital said they had been so busy they hadn’t had time to check on her and she could have been there for two hours.

”Going by the look on her face I think she was in real pain. It’s devastating to think she died on a toilet floor, scared alone and in agony.

”Jean was a hard-working woman who put her trust in these doctors.

”But when she needed them they let her down badly. I want to know how they could have missed lung cancer for three years.

”It makes me so angry to think of her lying there in pain because of someone else’s mistake.”

Jean, from Buckie in Banffshire, was always fit and active and devoted to her job as a carer at a local care home.

In 2008 she went to see her GP at her medical practice, the Ardach Health Centre, because her shoulder was stiff and sore.

She was examined and told that she needed physiotherapy, but wasn’t offered a scan or an x-ray.

Mum-of-two Jean made repeated trips to the surgery, as the pain in her arm increased, but felt she wasn’t being taken seriously.

Digger driver Colin revealed: ”Once she came out of the surgery in tears because they wouldn’t listen to her.

Woman dies from tumour after wrong diagnosis

Colin Cross and his daughter, Amanda Bush

”She knew there was something seriously wrong, but the doctors kept telling her it was nothing to worry about.

”Jean did what they said and got physiotherapy, accupuncture and all that, but it made no difference.”

Six months ago grandmother-of-two Jean’s condition took a rapid turn for the worse and she was unable to move her arm. Colin compared it to a ”claw”.

Eventually she was referred to a specialist who sent her for an x-ray. He spotted a shadow behind her shoulder and sent her for a CT scan.

The scan results came back and revealed she had lung cancer with two massive tumours, one in her lung and another under her arm.

As she waited for the results Jean was rushed to Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin last week after falling seriously ill.

Only then did doctors tell her they suspected she was suffering from lung cancer.

But the discovery came too late for Jean and the results of the scan were only revealed to her family on the day she died last Tuesday.

Colin revealed: ”She was almost climbing the walls in agony.

”As she was lying there the doctor told her he had seen her scans and thought she had lung cancer.”

Around 300 sympathy cards have arrived for popular Jean and the baptist church in Buckie was packed out for her funeral on Tuesday.

Colin, daughter Amanda and son, also Colin, are now considering taking legal action against NHS Grampian.

Colin senior added: ”We’re not interested in compensation or anything like that.

”It’s too late for Jean now, but we’re hoping we can stop anyone else having to go through the same ordeal.”

Amanda, 42, added: ”I’m just gutted.

”Mum was never one for going to the doctor, and when she did they should have listened to her.

”I still can’t believe that she had cancer all that time and it was missed.”

A spokesman for NHs Grampian expressed sympathy for the family and said they would play a ”key part” in the investigation into her death.

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