A MOTHER of four has slammed Stafford Hospital for a series of errors which led to her suffering serious injuries during the birth of her fourth child.
Candi Kaya was unable to care for her new baby, will never work again, watched her marriage breakdown and is in constant pain after doctors failed to notice her bladder was damaged during a caesarean in June 2008 and left it untreated for six days.
“It’s hard to explain the impact Stafford Hospital’s negligence has had on my life,” said Ms Kaya. “My husband and I were excited to welcome our fourth child into the family and we were also in the process of setting up our own takeaway business.
“But because of the hospital’s failure to recognise and treat my symptoms, all of our plans were ruined.
“I couldn’t nurse or care for Hani because I was in and out of surgery and in agony which broke my heart.
“But despite doctors eventually realising what was wrong and treating the damage, I have been left with permanent injuries that mean I can’t work, do any physical exercise or have the life I’d hoped for.”
“Sadly, the enormous stress my illness put on my family caused my marriage to break down,” she said. “This means I have to try and cope alone and I still have difficulties with everyday tasks.”
The 43-year-old mother of four said the time it took the trust to reach a settlement with her was ‘appalling and their ‘refusal’ to co-operate with her legal team ‘added insult to injury’.
“I find it appalling that they admitted responsibility for my injury but continued to argue over how this had impacted on my life and then stalled for a further three years before agreeing to a settlement,” she said. “Even now I haven’t had an apology or any reassurance that improvements have been made in recognising the symptoms of bladder damage.”
Interim chief executive at MSFT Maggie Oldham said: “We are extremely sorry for the distress caused to Ms Kaya as a result of the care she received at Stafford Hospital in June 2008.
“The Trust accepted from an early stage that the treatment did not meet the standard which she was entitled to expect and that this led to a number of severe complications.
“Formal details of the claim were provided in July 2010 and an open admission was sent to Ms Kaya’s solicitors in October 2010,” she said. “At the same time an offer of settlement was made, which was rejected.
“The Trust’s Chief Executive wrote to Ms Kaya in March 2011 with a formal apology.”
Mrs Oldham said Ms Kaya’s solicitors issued formal legal proceedings in May 2011 providing a schedule and value of the claim on October 6 2011 along with various expert reports.
“The legal process which Trusts are obliged to follow can be lengthy and further medical expert evidence was required in order to identify the appropriate compensation award,” she said. “A settlement meeting took place in May 2013 and terms of settlement were agreed on 18 June 2013.”
Mrs Oldham said the trust was committed to taking action to improve practice where incidents such as this occurred.
“Following this particular case, steps were taken to strengthen supervision of doctors coming into the Trust and for all post-caesarean patients to be seen by a Consultant or Senior Trainee, with the practice audited to ensure compliance,” she said.
Ms Kaya was admitted in June 2008 to undergo a planned c-section. After her operation she showed symptoms of bloating and severe pain, but doctors failed to identify the bladder damage she had suffered, a recognised risk in c-sections, and she went untreated for six days.
She eventually underwent surgery to repair her bladder, but had developed urinary peritonitis in the delay causing her bowel to rupture and had to undergo a number of further operations following which she suffered a blood clot and incisional hernia which meant she needed more treatment.
Five years on she still suffers problems from the blood clots and increased bowel frequency and urgency, pain from the hernia and significant scarring.
Ms Kaya said the six-figure settlement Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (MSFT) had agreed would enable her to get the help and support she needed to look after her family as well as help fund treatment and manage her shortness of breath, depression and future surgery for scar revision and to treat the hernia.