A Unite member turned to Unite Legal Services for support with a compensation claim after suffering a traumatising double amputation as a result of a delayed diagnosis.
The 60-year-old Leicester man was rushed to hospital when he had crippling pain in both of his legs. The paramedics treating him thought he had blood clots – despite this, he was transferred to an orthopaedic ward where staff failed to do a vascular exam.
Instead he had his legs wrapped in compression stockings. He suffered in agonising pain and it was only two days later when staff noticed that blood was not reaching his legs. By this point the damage was so severe that they had no choice but to amputate both legs above the knee.
It was also discovered that the cause of his pain was due to two blood clots in his lower spine, which could have been noticed sooner if he’d had the correct examinations.
The Unite member said: “The pain was like nothing I’ve felt before. When it first hit me, I tried walking around to stretch it out, but it was so bad I had to lie down on the floor. Little did I know, that was the last time I’d stand up properly.
“I kept telling the medical staff about the pain I was in, but it fell on deaf ears. I found out afterwards that they had six hours to save my legs after I was admitted to hospital – so by the time they assessed me, it was far too late.”
Unite Legal Services helped him secure a significant settlement package, which included interim payments. These allowed him to pay for prosthetic legs, routine car as well as cover the cost of an adapted home.
“I can’t thank Unite Legal Services enough,” he said. “They fought tooth and nail on my behalf and made sure I had a large interim payment so we could afford basic support while I was coming to terms with what happened.
“I’m never going to be who I was, but the prosthetics and my new home – once it’s complete – will give me a level of freedom I thought was gone forever.”