Mum left broken by string of hospital blunders
Posted by Jamie at 9 20 PM on Saturday, March 21
A HEARTBROKEN mum told last night how she lost FOUR members of her family amid a shocking series of blunders and neglect at Britain’s horror hospital.
Kelsey Lintern’s newborn baby, her beloved sister, her uncle and her gran all died within 18 months at scandal -hit Stafford hospital.
And Kelsey almost became the FIFTH victim when a nurse tried to give her medicine that would have KILLED her.
Last night she sobbed: “My family and I have been through hell—all let down by Stafford Hospital.”
Last week the Healthcare Commission revealed up to 1,200 patients died due to the hospital’s “appalling” standards. Those woefully treated included Kelsey’s:
BABY Nyah, who was discharged with a clean bill of health—despite being blue and having holes in her heart;
SISTER Laurie Gethin, 37, whose cancer was not spotted until it was too late—and whose dead body was left for hours in a bloodied bed in full view of the ward;
UNCLE Tom Warriner, 48, who died in his own vomit and faeces after his stomach was accidentally pierced in an op; and
GRAN Lilian Wood Latta, 80, who was hungry, dehydrated and left in her own excrement during her final days.
Shattered Kelsey, who lives in Cannock, Staffs, and has two surviving daughters, Shelby, seven, and 15-month-old Khalen, has been trying to come to terms with the deaths by writing poignant poems.
On the right is a few lines from one directed at hospital chiefs, which begins: “How do you sleep at night?”
Following Nyah’s death, Kelsey and her husband lodged a formal complaint. Martin Yeates—chief executive of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital—wrote back, admitting the family had been treated badly. He added: “I want to offer my unreserved apologies on behalf of the Stafford Hospital for the pain and upset you have experienced.”
This is the shameful treatment Kelsey had to watch her loved ones endure. . .
KELSEY was thrilled to learn she was expecting her second child. And when she went into labour in January 2007 she was admitted to Stafford Hospital.
She recalled: “I asked for a painkiller and they came in with a syringe. I said, ‘What’s that?’ They said, ‘Oh its pethedine.’ I said, ‘Woah, woah woah, I’m allergic to pethedine, you’ll kill me!
“My allergy’s in my notes and I had a wristband on but she still got it wrong.”
When baby Nyah arrived the midwife’s back was turned, and Kelsey’s mother had to deliver her. Nyah was blue and not breathing—and the gran was left to try and resuscitate her while the nurse got help. Kelsey was told Nyah would go to a special care unit but she never did. The next day a junior paediatrician discharged her. She was still blue, was not feeding and had not urinated.
Two days later he suddenly died in the arms of her great-gran. A post-mortem revealed four holes in Nyah’s heart—one so big it covered all four chambers.
Kelsey said: “We knew something was wrong. I must have raised it five or six times with hospital staff but I was made to feel neurotic and I trusted them.”
MUM-of-three Laurie Gethin, 37, was the next to die, three months later in April.
Kelsey said of her sister: “She was prone to blood clots, and during many blood tests they found ‘markers’ that indicated she might have cancer.
“But it was only when she failed to respond to drugs for the clotting disorder that they sent her to another hospital for a PET scan. It revealed cancerous tumours in her lungs, lymph nodes and bones. It was terminal and the hospital had missed the signs.”
When Laurie was close to death just a month later she was admitted to Stafford Hospital. Kelsey recalled: “At one stage she was left in a corridor on a trolley so they could use her bed for a drug addict.
“Another time, her husband Mick went to pick up something from the floor and found false teeth and a mouldy cake under her bed. Laurie and another patient even named the cockroaches in the showers.”
Her moment of death was sudden and the family rushed to the hospital. Kelsey said: “When Mick got there, Laurie had clearly been dead for a while. She was lying in a blood-spattered bed with her eyes still open. Tubes and equipment were lying around her in a mess. The curtains weren’t closed around her bed and all the other patients could see her.
“Three hours later she was still there.”
TOM Warriner died nine months after his tragic niece—in the same hospital. An inquest recorded his death as accidental but Kelsey believes it was serious neglect.
Tom, 48, had had surgery at Stafford Hospital for bowel cancer a few months previously. He was rushed in again on Boxing Day 2007 in excruciating agony.
But no tests were done to see if it was connected with his recent surgery and he died on January 4. Tom had peritonitis, a serious infection—caused by the contents of his intestine leaking into his abdomen.
This was because his intestine had been accidentally pierced during his op.Kelsey said: “He died an unseemly death. No one bothered to think about taking him to the operating theatre.
“Instead he was left to lie in a blood-stained bed in his own vomit and faeces which staff refused to clear up.”
EIGHTEEN months after her granddaughter died in her arms, Lilian Wood Latta passed away aged 80 at Stafford Hospital.
She’d had several mini-strokes and was not expected to pull through. After the family’s experiences, two relatives stayed with her round the clock for the three days she was in hospital.
Kelsey recalled: “The staff failed to feed Nan properly and didn’t give her fluids, allowing her to become dehydrated.
“She was led in her own faeces and urine because nobody could be bothered to bring her the bedpan.
“They moved her three times between wards when she should have been left in peace. The family had to change her incontinence pads because nurses didn’t.
“It is called the caring profession. But where is the care?”
Lilian’s dying wish was to see new baby Khalen, and Kelsey phoned the hospital and was assured the ward was safe for the tot.
Kelsey recalled: “Khalen was with my nan and we were chatting when a nurse came marching in and said, “What on earth is a baby doing in here? You do know we’ve got MRSA and C-Diff on this ward?’ It was like my life had turned full circle. My first child died after being born at Stafford Hospital. Now Khalen’s life was at risk there.”
Kelsey was overcome when she found out about the Health Commission’s horrifying report this week. She said: “I burst into tears. At last someone had listened to all our shouting, all our screaming.”
Last night the Trust told us: “The report highlights instances where standards fell below those that our patients had a right to expect—we regret this and would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere apologies.
“The report does highlight the work the Trust has done, and is continuing to do, to improve in the key areas highlighted by the commission.
“We would encourage Mrs Lintern to contact us to enable us to discuss any individual areas of concern.”