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Misdiagnosed as cancer-free 6 times, UK nurse dies aged 49

Misdiagnosed as cancer-free 6 times, UK nurse dies aged 49

News In Short

Misdiagnosed as cancer-free 6 times, A dying nurse recorded a devastating final message condemning health chiefs for blunders that cost her life. Julie O’Connor, who worked for the NHS for 13 years, was mistakenly told six times that she did not have cervical cancer. In the heartbreaking video, the 49-year-old sits propped up in her hospice bed and is able only to whisper. ‘It’s disgusting I have been suffering the way I have and I continue to suffer,’ the mother of two says. As she struggles to continue, her husband Kevin tells the camera that a series of doctors failed over three years to diagnose her illness.

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‘We hold them fully accountable,’ he says. ‘The pathologist and the gynaecologist, who had several opportunities to intervene, I hold them responsible, and I do hold the board of directors at North Bristol Trust accountable.

‘They put me and Julie through this. Misdiagnosed as cancer-free What we want to do with this video is to show the board of directors what they’ve done. What they’ve done to me and Julie and our family. And I just hope this doesn’t happen to anybody else. We want a wider review.’

Misdiagnosed as cancer-free

Mrs. O’Connor died just three days after filming the video. She was assured she did not have cervical cancer following a smear test, Misdiagnosed as cancer-free biopsies and numerous clinical examinations. It was only when she went to see a private consultant three years after the original missed diagnosis that she learned the truth.By then it was terminal. She died last week at St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol.

Misdiagnosed as cancer-free

Her family, who believe other cases of cancer in women may have been missed, are campaigning for an independent review into cervical smear screening at Southmead Hospital, which is run by North Bristol NHS Trust.

Misdiagnosed as cancer-free

Mr. O’Connor, a public safety regulator, said: ‘We don’t think it’s isolated. We think there is a systemic problem there. Misdiagnosed as cancer-free No one person can be that unlucky to have a misdiagnosed smear, missed biopsies and all these clinical examinations and we’re talking senior members of staff.

‘We want to look forward, but we also have to look back and work out if there are other victims out there – that’s what Julie wanted to do.

‘It’s been so frustrating just to get the trust to listen. It has just felt like they are in denial.

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